posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 11:02 AM
Originally posted by shaolyn
In my opinion, it's probably not going to be all that big...
'Not that big" is a relative statement. Something that is HUGELY significant to a planetary scientist may seem mundane to the average person who
fails to understand the science.
For example, some people on this thread have pointed out some inserting possibilities for what they found: maybe Limestone or possibly some certain
kinds of organic compounds. But these things may or may not mean past life -- and the difference between these discoveries indicating past life or
not can be very esoteric, and not meaningful to the average person.
As others have said, limestone OFTEN is the result of life processes, but is not ALWAYS the result of life processes. If the instruments on
are precise enough to be able to a precision analysis of the limestone, it could be found that the limestone is of a certain isotope
that indicates it was the result of past life. However, other isotopes of limestone may indicate a NON-biological origin for the limestone.
The other possibility I mentioned -- organic compounds -- also do NOT always mean life. However, some organic compounds are preferred by life over
other organic compounds. Some compounds are known to possibly be the result of
life processes. While the discovery of these certain kinds of
organic compounds may not 100% mean "life!", their discovery would be really really big news for the Science of Astrobiology -- even though it would
leave most common people saying "Meh, so what?".
I have no idea what they found, and I'm not saying they found signs of past life. I'm just saying that something that SHOULD be big news to the
average person may not be big news, because they don't understand the science, and thus the significance.