Gale Crater could be the source of life on earth

Author Message

PostPosted: September 24, 2012 2:52 AM 

Interesting that Gale Crater is about the same age as the oldest known fossils on earth. -

Life at that time was believed to be using sulfur instead of oxygen.

"Gale Crater, field site for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, is located in one of the most chlorine- and sulfur-rich areas detected by Odyssey gamma-ray spectroscopy (GRS) along the dichotomy boundary between Mars' southern cratered highlands and the northern plains." -

It begs the question, could Gale Crater(96 miles in diameter) be the origin of life on earth?

The impact was big enough, it would seem.

"A very recent and interesting analysis by H.J. Melosh at the University of Arizona shows that in the course of generating a l00-kilometer impact crater, debris can be transferred from Mars to Earth or vice versa" - [link]

Sulfur loving life on earth is enduring, but it's not very diverse. There's not enough sulfur.

On Mars, a sulfur based life form could still endure, but it would likely stay in the water, and below ground, but that's not very exciting.

What would be exciting, is if you could find the source of that methane, and it's diverse.


Posts: 250

Reply: 1

PostPosted: September 24, 2012 5:12 AM 

RW, interesting thought. But I say - based on that rationale - life on Earth originated from the 100km big Oyama crater west of Mawrth Vallis. The impact creating that crater slammed right into an area which displays heavily water altered geology today so it may have been teaming with life when Oyama crater came into existence.

Greetings to Vance Oyama (RIP) - its a pitty the GEx yielded the most inconclusive, unexpected or enigmatic data of the 3 Viking biology experiments. Wouldnt it be ironic that a crater with that name would have seeded the life we looking for on Mars on Earth? Shocked

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 2

PostPosted: September 25, 2012 3:22 PM 

Dealing with Earth and it's complexity and diversity in life, a lifelong pursuit for some, gives a viewpoint that the origins of life could have been any of the basic more ancient of life-like assemblies found in current processes. The ease with which current life uses the proteins and enzymes or other chemistry to adopt to the environment is amazing. For life to be suggested as having originated on Venus or Mars and later transferred to Earth, then adopted to a new planetary scheme is a furtherance of the same presumption that the mechanism can adapt to severe changes in available balances in the environment.

The Qrc Membrane Complex, Related to the Alternative Complex III, Is a Menaquinone Reductase Involved in Sulfate Respiration

Sofia S. Venceslau1, Rita R. Lino and Ines A. C. Pereira

From the conclusion in the research article.
After a nearly unreadable series of logical progressions defining the details of the use of sulphur in respiration chemistry and energy transfer, this is the wisdom of following microbes capabilities to adapt.

"This complex is a novel addition to the family of characterized bacterial redox complexes, typically constituted by modular subunits. It provides a striking example of how a totally different physiological function can be achieved with a minimal modification of subunits, a strategy that forms the basis for the diversity and flexibility of bacterial energy metabolism."

Many of the related full articles are free. Eventually our understandings will become as complex and adaptable as the items we study.


Posts: 1195

Reply: 3

PostPosted: September 28, 2012 8:24 AM 

Due to a filtering blockade I haven't been able to post on my routine topic, and now on a new topic. This may be blocked as well.

The discovery of rounded cobble or conglomerate type soil layering, which appeared somewhat layered thinly, we may have at Gale a source of sulphur and water, with soluble nutrients flowing for many miles and traveling at depth, even percolating from applied heat over extended periods of time.
The habitability issue seems better secured now with this weeks events at MSL.

Even the new Dawn/Vesta mission photo results show pitted terrain which indicated volatiles such as water released over distances, and the pits were rather large, from dozens to hundreds of meters in diameter and depth. As the professionals were confident in assessing the pit sequences as water caused, on an asteroid, we should be confident that some of the Mars pitted terrain is water caused at least in partial influence.
Water, probable heat, and sources of sulphur.
The scene is set for a 'bio-reactor' possibly?

Join the conversation:

Very Happy Smile Sad Surprised
Shocked Confused Cool Laughing
Mad Razz Embarassed Crying or Very Sad
Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Wink
Powered by MTSmileys