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SCI/TECH: Martian gases may indicate life

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posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 07:08 AM
Gases detected by an Italian scientist from the Mars Express Probe may indicate the existence of life on Mars. Methane and formaldehyde have both been detected which can signal the sign of biological activity. However, he also says only analysis of soil on Mars can prove this theory.
Confirmation came through hard data, not "fantasy", he told BBC News. "[My observations] should not be taken as a statement that there is life on Mars today, because we need to go there, to drill the soil, take samples, and analyse them before possibly concluding that life is there," Professor Formisano said

The observation is fascinating because the gas is short-lived; it is broken down by sunlight, and should not be detectable unless it is being constantly replenished in some way.

The conservative view is that the source is geological - volcanic processes may be producing the gas, although active signs of this have yet to be observed. There may also be large reserves in the Martian soil of ancient methane-ice, so-called clathrates, which are slowly melting and releasing the gas into the atmosphere.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Although no more can be proved for a long time and there could be many causes for this, it is still a very exciting "what if?".

Any form of life found on another planet, even down to just a single cell structure, would surely change the way things are seen as we know it. It would be very excited to see the effects it had on religious structures, as well as the scientific community who once doubted the chances of life.

We live in hope.

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 07:16 AM
I think we will hear more of this soon. ESA is having a Mars Express media briefing today at 14:00 cet.

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 08:52 AM
i belive the lates info on mars on announcements may be a test for the big one why do you think the us whants peace in the middle east and all this about mars i smell a connection

[edit on 25-2-2005 by leejones]

[edit on 25-2-2005 by leejones]

[edit on 25-2-2005 by leejones]

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 09:17 AM
This is exciting news indeed, even if it's just bacterial / single cell life. I only hope I live long enough to actually get hard and fast proof of such life, i.e., some being brought back to Earth.

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 09:45 AM
FUNNY - NASA has always been saying weird events are down to MARSH GAS -

It wasn't a UFO it was just some swamp marsh gas lol

Now they are saying there are aliens because of Martian Gas HAHAHAHAHA

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 11:24 AM

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
i.e., some being brought back to Earth.

no thanks, there are enough nasties here already without intoducing the martian superbug as well...

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 03:19 PM
so here's proof that Martians have been stealing beans and beer from Earth for millenia!

I understand the need for fact checking and double checking, and verification before making claims, and the whole "extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims" thing.

But I'm getting this impression that the scientific publishing establishment does not want to find life on mars (or anywhere else). They seem to try so very hard to explain away every sign. First the Viking probe results, now seems they change the definition of what the "Proof of Life" needs to be, as soon as it is met. Keep raising the bar, and keep pointing out that the evidence doesn't meet that bar.

Now that I think of it, is it a way to get more funding? If a given test points to life, simply explain away the results and say there is another test that needs to be made. Send that one, and explain away it's results. Continue for the duration?

Kind of like the definition of AI. used to be just the Turing Test. Now machines beat it all the time. And to be honest, I honestly have met humans who could not pass as sentient under many of the requirements now set forth to jusge "true"AI.

posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 06:49 PM

Originally posted by Phugedaboudet
But I'm getting this impression that the scientific publishing establishment does not want to find life on mars (or anywhere else).

Think of the effect it could have on the religious created in his image is a stretch from single-celled organisms on a different planet.

At any rate, the call for definitive proof is wise on any scale........and the ride until undisputed proof is in hand is/will be a fun one. I'm learning about chemistry, geothermals, and various other sciences that I wouldn't have bothered with if I wasn't such a stickler for understanding what I do/don't believe in.......

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