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Source article (nature.com)
The Mars rover Spirit encountered outcrops and regolith composed of opaline silica (amorphous SiO2·nH2O) in an ancient volcanic hydrothermal setting in Gusev crater. An origin via either fumarole-related acid-sulfate leaching or precipitation from hot spring fluids was suggested previously (...)
Here we report remarkably similar features within active hot spring/geyser discharge channels at El Tatio in northern Chile, where halite-encrusted silica yields infrared spectra that are the best match yet to spectra from Spirit. Furthermore, we show that the nodular and digitate silica structures at El Tatio that most closely resemble those on Mars include complex sedimentary structures produced by a combination of biotic and abiotic processes. Although fully abiotic processes are not ruled out for the Martian silica structures, they satisfy an a priori definition of potential biosignatures.
originally posted by: Aleister
a reply to: jeep3r
thanks Jeep, maybe now some Russian hackers or some stray science editor will take the time to go through every post on your Mars anomalies threads (thousands of posts) to find the best Curiosity Rover candidates, and then submit them to geologists and experts in other fields. Lots of good finds in there, especially on the smaller scale.
Maybe you could pop some links to the rolling anomaly threads and some of the better substantial individual threads at some point on this thread.
originally posted by: TommyD1966
1) Does it really mean a second genesis? I thought it had been shown it is possible (but unlikely) for life to have moved to/from Earth/Mars riding on the ejecta from a comet or asteroid impact? So maybe life started there, and then came here (or the other way around).
2) If #1 above is NOT the case, and it was a second genesis, doesn't that mean that life on the two planets would not necessarily be similar, and just because formations on Mars look like some formations on Earth that we can't say it because of microbes/life?
... the appearance of a strong ∼1,260 cm−1 feature in halite-encrusted sinter samples is enigmatic and apparently has not been documented previously.
originally posted by: jeep3r
a reply to: moebius
Quite right and rather wise to mention that, but I think we should also consider the following:
"The hypothesis that they are microstromatolites arises from our interpretation of the integrated observations of geologic context, mineralogy and morphology down to mm-scale, all of which are consistent with a microbialite origin" (also quoting the paper).