Origin of Life on Mars? - Page 4

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Lin Liangtai

Posts: xxx

Reply: 61

PostPosted: April 16, 2017 5:21 AM 

John, how about the ooids mentioned in

John Radogno

Posts: xxx

Reply: 62

PostPosted: April 17, 2017 10:43 AM 

Please read my comments on the bottom of reply #36 for the short answer to what I think about ooids.
You have provided a very thorough presentation to make the case for ooids on Mars. Some of the points in the report, like the involvement of meteor strikes, are not that important to the case, although it is possible that ooids can be scattered to just about any location on the planet by the forces of a large impact. Also there is evidences of ancient rivers in Gale with estimates of flowing water up to a meter high. Calculations on water flow speed were done based on erosion of pebble size along the way. So it is not just a lake environment we are considering in Gale Crater. I learned a bit about the geology of Death Valley on Earth when I was trapped there for a few days. Death Valley had several long lasting episodes as a lake n the past. It is called Lake Manly and last dried up about 10,000 years ago. The point is that Gale Crater has probably gone through a number of environmental, geological, and perhaps biological changes over time. The things we find, such as ooids, microbial matts and other microbially-induced sedimentary structures (MISS), help put together the puzzle of Mar's history.

On Earth it may be acceptable to visually identify ooids based on where they are found because we have an abundance of knowledge on local environments and the involvement of biological activity in MISS is well established. This is not so on Mars. Please read this article that relies a paper written by Nora Noffke about microbial matts.


See the pile of sand on Mars compared to a pile of sand on Earth comments. We will ultimately have to bring samples back to Earth to be sliced up and examined under microscope. We have a few MRB posters who are very good at identifying possible microbial matts and other MISS and all of their finds may one day be verified.

It is reasonable to research the possibility of these ooids being what we think they are and being related to biological activity because we know that the ancient Mars' environment had conditions very similar to what was happening on Earth when Life first formed. The mechanics of basic inorganic molecules becoming complex organic molecules is well understood and has been repeated in laboratory settings. The mix of volcanic upwelling with underground ice deposits on Mars creates conditions similar to what was happening on Earth that may have allowed these complex organic molecules to to interact in such a way as to form prototypes of primordial RNA. There is not a scientific conclusion yet to how this works. You can guess if you want but it is only a guess. Further exploration on Mars, Enceladus, and Europa are important places to look for more pieces of the puzzle.

In the article I am referring to, Nora Noffke is studying the possibility of microbial matts based on Curiosity images. The process is very similar to what Wretch Fossil does with ooids. Nora demonstrated a certain amount of humility and ethics in her presentation. She suggests other, non-biological possibilities, she suggests other analysis Curiosity can do, but in the end, she admits that until the suspected material is studied in an Earth based laboratory, the jury is out.

That is where we are with ooids. The jury is out but the verdict looks promising.

Lin Liangtai

Posts: xxx

Reply: 63

PostPosted: April 19, 2017 10:21 AM 

John, thank you for your comments.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 64

PostPosted: April 19, 2017 11:56 AM 

Despite the apparent lack of motile life on Mars, and the inability to conduct active chemistry there, we were given by our only few sources, many images that indicated the suggestion of life like objects. While researchers expected no positive results from these rover missions, there were sufficient results confusing us as to make the many topics and side subjects as to redirect research into Earth based study of the details of similar items on Earth.
A number of these blog contributors have been intimidated by the conservative presumption types, bypassing the requirement of equal stringent standards for explanation as for denial or a glossy rejection.
I agree that the vertical 'shade' of rectilinear formations from a distance is confusing, but the actual subject is of the reason for the shapes, and the cause and effect details.
In the materials below the scene of these rectangles, where the rover travels, there are vertical parallel structures I showed clearly in a previous topic where I simply rebalanced the heavy reddish tinged image, showing two distinct adjacent alternating colors of clays with near vertical segregation of the colors. That led to absolutely no comments about the important mineral effects and no explanations. If the entire sequence of Mt. Sharp is affected similarly, or other causes exist for vertical fractures or fault/stresses, it must be a very important aspect of the formation of the mountain. The concept of finding organics is conditioned by the history of extremes and stresses of the Gale crater area.
I enjoy the examples you have presented of a water ravaged planet Earth, yet Mars and life there will always be based upon the conditions found on Mars. Earth life may already be contaminating Mars, and that is expected, but what we see on Mars must be considered a very unique set of conditions and interacting terms written on Mars at a time without any comparison on Earth.
If you have seen the pictures we presented here over ten years, many are similar to Earth life, yet all were either simply stated as 'non-existent' while being looked at as real, or were left without extension into explanation, and stated as not important as not 'provable' in a distant setting. There was a obvious disinterest in close up and detailing study of suggestive items, and that is a repeated provable fact.
About your monument item on entry #59, I might suggest a image matching search online which gave many references to the suggestion of a social item here,
No matter how uncomfortable persons find explanations for mystery, the unusual is a core aspect of the motivation of social interest in science topics.
Even the ooids are a large object, larger than was expected for any Mars life, and we know the surface is not the expected location for living items on Mars.
Fossils are difficult to recognize in most fossiliferous material.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 65

PostPosted: April 20, 2017 10:41 PM 

This Saturday, is the 'March for Science' assemblies around the US, hoping a few here will be present.
John, have you a recollection of this old Bounce Rock image of the MER Opportunity record? As Lin points out, the items to view are worth detailed explanation, but cannot be proven as mental impressionism or 'illusions'. Only a sample can be proven as fossil or illusion.


Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 66

PostPosted: April 20, 2017 11:51 PM 

Here is another very old image, a 'spider' pattern from a HiRISE original, within a series of repeat pits, across a scene of mounds and fissures with 'pit strings'. The interesting formations, show central circularand cylindrical elevated cores for these 'pits', spiders, and 'mounds', yet showing them is very difficult, most being within enclosed layers, possibly depositional layers, now exposed in only a few exiles. Subsurface cylinders with central dark pits, along a 'pit string' sequence, associated with elevated mounds.
Possibly geological, large objects with complex structures, no ambiguity about lighting, and evolved morphologies seen at varied stages of alteration.
Can any of this be 'alive'?



Same image, adjacent locale, mounds in series, some conical, with lighting clear.
If cylinders have conical overlay, within dunes and layers, yet the cylinders have dark pitted cores, what Earthly equivalent is evidenced on Earth? Any geological explanation at large scale for this Mars type activity?
Can life be a large scale event in Mars past? Is Mars 'alive'?

Can you access these very old images from the host site?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 67

PostPosted: April 20, 2017 11:58 PM 

The change of terms from 'example' to 'exile' was not selected by me nor legal.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 68

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 12:02 AM 

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 69

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 3:24 AM 

While cleaning up the mess from entries #65-68,here is another match for your #59 monument item. As these are related to the elephant on Earth, the size disparity could be ignored. We all know 'Jabba' has no relatives on Earth.

A carnival of possibilities. Notice on the right of the cylinders a 'slump' or flow down the scarp in a crevice where the ground mass 'melts' into a fan with fingers?
Those should be the missing links.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 70

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 3:48 AM 

A further view showing the 'flow' along the right side, has thickness, stable fingers, and may actually be issued from the very dark hidden port at the bottom of the scarp, not from the upper layer.

This also shows the cylinders each have a single pit, centrally located, furrowed or fluted, and appear as 'smoke-stack' shapes in the spider domains.

Ooids may be organic on Mars, but would we find them in the bottoms of large impact craters without burial in water based sediments, without a subsurface structural transport feature, or without other protections 2-3 billion years past? Perhaps all these items are related.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 71

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 6:52 AM 

Slightly larger frame of reference for the cylinder elevated above the ground, returned before May, 2009. Still seems to be light from the upper right, far side lit, shadow cast across ground at bottom, ice still embedding the object. Uploaded in April, 2009.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 72

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 8:18 AM 

Using two tablets, the IE pages do not refresh after entry #68. I entered three additions after 68, and have a record of them here, yet no amount of recycling, refreshing, nor adding accounts changes the stall-out. No shortcuts work for refresh either.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 73

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 8:22 AM 

The 'tether and canister' at the shadow, bottom, is clear in this new version. Is this a spacecraft or another of the cylinders?

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 74

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 9:11 AM 

At the Phoenix Lander site, within a half mile, a similar more volcanic type cone with central pit, patterned ground, elevated yet none of the examples anywhere have even a single small crater or impact blemish in the formations. A planet alive with active geology or life, a subsurface active chemically, yet all have nothing to say except nothing at all.
Even when I show life like items on Phoenix ice samples, still no comments about the obvious.
The tiniest items to the landscape features are all just 'illusions' and run-away imagination.
Just like items under my microscope, and in binoculars, they just cannot be 'alive'.

Good luck and congratulations Lin, they will never see the elephants and smaller items as it just can't be possible. A dead and frozen planet for hundreds of millions of years, despite the images seen here. The meteorites forgot to land there, the examples must be a billion years old. Nothing happens on Mars, and erosion and the wind are what we are seeing.

John Radogno

Posts: xxx

Reply: 75

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 3:36 PM 


John Radogno

Posts: xxx

Reply: 76

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 4:45 PM 


John Radogno

Posts: xxx

Reply: 77

PostPosted: April 21, 2017 5:37 PM 

I have been looking at Mars images starting with the Mariners in 1971.
My wife and I will be at a Science March tomorrow.
#65; picture is not available.
#66 is a good picture, it shows in the center a very bright reflection off a curved landform with a lot of shadow on the left side with some hint of an uneven terrain in the lower dark area. I am open to this being a cone but not convinced.
I compared your #71 with my #21 pixel by pixel. There are some interesting differences. #71 still has some lighter pixels between the roundish area in side the crater and the clear right side edge of the crater, showing that the dark material is completely contained inside the crater walls. Also, the shaded pixels on the upper inside of the crater extends the shadow a little deeper across the top center of the crater, which would not happen if was a cone standing tall in the sunlight. If the dark area below the crater were in shadow of a cone, there would not be any light colored pixels there. I think the terrain outside the crater to the bottom and the left slopes downhill away from the crater and the bright area in the upper right slopes uphill toward the crater.
There really is a point where the images are too obscure to make any calls. I do not see a spaceship. I see a crater with a dark irregular debris field inside of it. This is not the same as not wanting to believe in fantastical explanations, it is just what I see from a very obscure image.
#74: I certainly do not think of this as a dead and frozen planet for hundreds and millions of years, and I do not think NASA scientists as a whole do either. I have over the course of years looked up backgrounds of many of the NASA people as well as some of the scientists who submit papers based on NASA data (google, LinkedIn, blogs,). I think most of them are just like us, excited about finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. But they are professionals and will not make conclusive statements with out truly conclusive evidence, and after peer review. They noted the strange monument looking feature posted in #59 and were also intrigued by it.
Not having crater blemishes means that the surface is relatively young. There could be a lot of reasons for this and biology is one of the possibilities. There is an interesting area near the top of the picture whit a lot of concentric fractures around a central light area. Near the bottom of the image is a dark area that may be a volcanic cone. Could the polygon looking broken terrain around it be the result of an up-welling caused by an underground volcanic push? That is what it looks like to me.
Mars is active, moving ripples right under the wheels of the rovers! There is a lot to discover on this planet.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 78

PostPosted: April 22, 2017 5:30 PM 

Appreciate your comments. Dislike using Lin's topic for all this, but that's how we are using this blog now. If the tiny items are active or biological and anything like Earth life we know they will require protection from the surface. That is why the idea of upward migration of layers and interacting structures that extend well below the levels expected on Earth seems reasonable when Mann and others suggest the action is underway.
The subsequent mission returns after the Viking and Mariner series were so much more intriguing than the washouts and meander type large scale terrain features from 50 years past. Even the smallest items are a zoo of curiosities with the rovers. Hopefully younger persons are keeping these returns in their focus.
This from years past, about 2008, in the polar dunes with bright gypsum exposures, shows yet another example of large tubular structures which have central pits or openings, obviously with central tubular internal structure which would be suggestive and expected on Earth to be biological, not geological. If only someone could find any single example of a geological feature on Earth to match this gypsum assembly at the lower left. This does not make physical sense for a non-self ordered structure, and no one will find an example on Earth as a 'crystalline mass' to match it, so the obvious as with the other erect tubes is clear.

You will not like the size and over enlargement, but download and reduce it in size, or use the self adjusting view frame to see the series of tubes.

From #65,not related to tubular objects, but clearly not geology,

#69 & #70, show the spider cores of at least a portion of the total, and there may be more than one spider type feature active on Mars. They use tubes to heat water in coal fired power plants because it is the most potent container for superheated steam, the most energy efficient, the easiest to 'make', and the best for transport. It is a perfect solution for Mars and smaller bodies. The alternative would be layer surfaces compressed below the surface, to play upon chemistry and water, CO2, and other needed resources. Any object seeking resources would be embedded in the chemistry as we are on Earth.

Have you ever seen any geological object other than biology appearing as a tubule which stands erect as a cylinder on Earth? These items on Mars where the upper ends are dark, open, and furrowed or fluted, are clearly a transmission or transport for another chemistry and material. The idea of small columnar jointing basalt doesn't even match these small items. They stand alone, have been active in sequence along linear repeats,
currently appear in crevices or fissures related to standard spider terrain patterns, and are a source of emissions or eruptive content during the dark fan and bright ice releases from these core sources. I have looked for a dark sand source at these dark fans, and find the primary content is not dunes, but the pit cores of the spider parts active during each season. The primary problem seeing the process is that there is a layer or debris cover where the erosion exposes the cores. I always suspected active former crystalline minerals were the activating cue for the nucleation and melting or sublimation, or the chemistry was optimum there. Watching the secondary fans activate along the debris release from main cores showed the transmission of activation was often transported physically from main cores.
We don't see this on Earth in geology, but we do see the processes in biology.

I can't argue that the Phoenix area, and the patterned ground of the cone looks heat caused, and geological, but the very small cones I have found around the Phoenix lander site are much smaller than this example shown in #74, and they are a similar size to the spider item erect tubes. The small cone versus the smaller core tubes of spiders, non-the-less are not necessarily two types of features, and both features could be successful biology or geology active on Mars.
A denial of results is not science, only a more detailed study and testing of the images and samples.
The tiny ooids type material may be related to these features if transport is occurring from below the surface. Finding the chemistry of items the size of the tiny spherical items is necessary. Having a microscope on rovers is obviously also necessary.
While I am being very persistent about the possible biology content in the current views, I am not trying to convince you, only to point out the logic of the denials which have been more demanding and persistent than the open suggestions being made. A new type of geological process to explain spiders and even the tiny spheroids is always an open suggestion as well, but it has not been presented except as the idea of a chance 'weakness' in the ice slab at random places. Clearly the spiders, cores, nucleation or other active repeatable content is not chaotic nor chance.
Erect tubules also are not chance, chaotic, nor normal geology.

Do you not find the various tubules a probable single process, and a feature suggestive of transport under power from below the surface, with dark material at the pit core as a result? Is erosion at the spider core and the dark material at the pit core a product of CO2 ice and water ice instead? Would life on Mars appear different than the items presented, including tiny spheroids?
As a curiosity, the images Lin presents show many of the tiny spheroids are possessing a tubular open core. Some are open faced at about a 50-50 split, showing the tubular opening. Lin did not suggest all were 'ooids', but I have found patterned grains which have either crystalline repeats as 3D patterns, or which resemble biology items on Earth. None have Earth type pattern equivalents to my knowledge, so searching Earth records and Mars samples is necessary.

If Mars has remained active until the small cones and tubes formed, it would show that heat sources were active or chemistry was active until recent timing.

Dana Johnson

Posts: 1195

Reply: 79

PostPosted: April 22, 2017 5:49 PM 

It seems along the way, Imageshack or the blog has changed the coded image responses. The thumbnails are not being inserted, so I have to use the 'direct' statement to obtain small thumbnails. This is the dunes from which the tubules are found. No other similar features seen in the image.

Joe Smith

Posts: 86

Reply: 80

PostPosted: April 22, 2017 10:09 PM 

My Goodness!

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