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Earth Life Likely Came from Mars, Study Suggests By Mike Wall, Senior Writer | August 28, 2013 06:05pm ET Mars Hubble Photo NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped this shot of Mars on Aug. 26, 2003, when the Red Planet was 34.7 million miles from Earth. The picture was taken just 11 hours before Mars made its closest approach to us in 60,000 years. Credit: NASA/ESA View full size image We may all be Martians.
Evidence is building that Earth life originated on Mars and was brought to this planet aboard a meteorite, said biochemist Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida. An oxidized form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, was likely available on the Red Planet's surface long ago, but unavailable on Earth, said Benner, who presented his findings today (Aug. 28; Aug. 29 local time) at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy.