Life On Mars?

  • SumoMe

McLaughlin-crater

Study reveals chances of underground life on Mars

Mars has always been a planet of much curiosity for us because of its Earth like features.

It rotates at almost the same frequency as our planet and the days are only 40 minutes longer than ours.

And that’s not all; the red planet also has a winter season and a summer season. Then why can’t we live on Mars?

One, because there is no water. Two, the atmosphere on Mars is really thin and there is no protection from space weather; one would be under direct radiations from Sun.

What’s The New Theory?

The latest discovery came from a study of images taken by NASA’s powerful Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that revealed new evidence of a wet underground environment on the red planet. The images focused on the McLaughlin crater and the water trails in the crater.

The McLaughlin crater is a new crater which was the result of a meteoroid smashing the surface of the planet. And when meteorites strike the surface of Mars, they act like natural probes, bringing up rocks from far beneath the crust.

Though the crater is dry at the moment, the rocks and the depth of the crater are evidence enough that there was water in it in the ancient past.

“Taken together, the observations in McLaughlin Crater provide the best evidence for carbonate forming within a lake environment instead of being washed into a crater from outside”, said the scientist Dr. Joseph Michalski.

Over the decades many missions have been deployed to Mars to explore the habitability and various evidences were found, like the mini-Nile that was discovered last year. However, as I mentioned before, the atmosphere on the planet is not suited for us, and this has lead the scientists to think that the most suitable habitat for ancient simple life may have been in the water hidden underground.

Even on Earth, more than half the life is made up of the microbes that live under ground. The same is being considered in the case of Mars as well.

The current exploration focuses on investigating about a below the surface process, since sedimentary rocks (rocks that are found in water) are the best source to find about the life on Mars.

So what are scientists going to do next? Dig up the surface of Mars?

I guess the day isn’t far when NASA may just release pictures of living beings on Mars.

Shraddha Jandial

Image Source [http://www.uahirise.org/images/2012/details/ESP_028354_2025.jpg]

 

 

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