More results for the possibility of Life on Mars

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PostPosted: July 30, 2010 10:03 AM 

This is very interesting and possibly an MSL target.

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: July 30, 2010 10:06 AM 

And from Planetaria:

[link] ?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Joe Smith

Posts: 86

Reply: 2

PostPosted: August 1, 2010 1:07 PM 

I don't know Kevin.Nili Fossae seems kind of iffy, as in 'hard to get to',,lots of rocks in this area.
The most I pray for is a safe,successful landing' anywhere on Mars,and a long life to Curiosity.
My choice would be on the bottom of the Grand Canyon of Mars,Valles Marineris,,,but
I am sure this is impossible.


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Reply: 3

PostPosted: August 6, 2010 2:09 PM 

They seem to be finding more carbonate rock as they select new targets over the few percent of Mars the CRISM instrument can photograph during the mission. Another MRO type satellite would help to fill in the huge gaps of information present currently.
All across the zone of transition from the Southern Highlands towards the Northern Lowlands there are the braided multiple path fluid transport channels cut into the ancient rock layers.
Hundreds of miles from Nili Fossae, almost half way to the towards the Valle Marineris drainage into the Northern Lowlands west of Nili Fossae, I recently found this massive 25-30 foot diameter patterned shape exposed by erosion in an area dominated by the common cones and troughs of the transition zone landscape.
As this is considered too large for a Mars fossilized ocean dweller, and the mineralogy is undetermined, I have to presume a small cone with light toned eruption issuance's. It nags at me that the orderly and continuous formation deserves consideration as more than a eruptive set of multiple paths, and it appears singular, ordered, and well shaped in comparison to a geological process.
Perhaps the CRISM will some day give us a clue as to why this shape is so common in this area of Mars at scales of thousands of diameters. This matches Meridiani finds of the same shaped items much smaller by Opportunity rover, which is situated between this find and the Nili Fossae troughs.

The source HiRISE/MRO image, ESP_011818_2200. Specific location on the image host filename in 'x & y ' coordinates from the 'RED' image gray-scale. The IAS viewer shows it nicely.
An example of Transition Zone erosion indicating open liquid flow recorded over time. A closer view, upper right of image. Difficult to land at also.
Closer to Nili Fossae, more drainage channels at Lyot crater. Rough surface there.
More satellite imaging reveals more evidence routinely. Landing seems the greatest constraint currently. Perhaps a fleet of rovers with larger over-sized tires in better contact with the loose material, but how to climb the slopes?
Another MRO might be cheaper for now.

Joe Smith

Posts: 86

Reply: 4

PostPosted: August 10, 2010 10:39 PM 

I suppose it all comes down to how ever you wish to define 'alien'.
All I can think now is Lava Tubes,,,,and exploring Mars underground.A robot rover with lights would do for now,,,But,how do it go?,,wish in one hand,,,wipe your butt with the other'?

Joe in Texas


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Reply: 5

PostPosted: August 20, 2010 11:22 PM 


Article about mud volcanoes on Mars in Acidalia Planitia.


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PostPosted: August 25, 2010 1:40 AM

Video of a SETI Institute talk on "Exploring Mars for Habitable Environments" by a member of the MER science team.


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Reply: 7

PostPosted: August 25, 2010 7:03 PM 

Barsoomer et al>>>

There is absolutely NO life on MARS no matter HOW you slice and dice it.

Its a dead planet, well out of the Goldie-lox zone and full of UV rays that will kill everything known or unknown to MAN, including MAN!

What is the problem in this thread...stop wasting your valuable time with nonsense...SETI is CRAP!!! Period.

It is NOT time for SETI...its too immature to be of value at this time.

Mud volcanoes...Please!

no yt required

r lewis

Posts: 202

Reply: 8

PostPosted: August 25, 2010 10:15 PM 

DX you are an angry idiot

Just as we have found mars rocks on earth, it is likely that if we could look seriously we woudl find terrestrial rocks on mars.

And, everything on earth is contaminated with all kinds of living organisms, in particular bacterial spores.

So, if we examined enough terrestrial rocks on Mars we would certainly eventually find bacterial spores in any smaple of terrestrial matrial we might find on mars.

We know that under certain very rare circumstances, we can have liquid water oni mars. we see bines, we have seen frost, and we have seen water droplets on Phoenix.

We also know there are certain terrestiral microbes which are EXTREMELY tough. Microbes that DO withstand extreme cold, extreme dryness, even radiation.

Also, we know only a few inches of soil is all it takes to provide a perfectly adequate shield from UV radiation.

So, If we would expect to find EVEN ONE microbial spore from earth that just ahppned to finde itself impacted on MArs, burried by just enough material to shield it from radiation, and fortunate enough to find itself in or near a mud volcanoe, or some other places where conditions might be JUST BARELY habitable, those spores would grow, multipley, and colonize Mars.

So, to say, with absolutely no evidence to the contrary, that this is in fact IMPOSSIBLE, absolutely could not happen, is just plain myopic.

You do understand what logic is, right?


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PostPosted: August 26, 2010 6:11 PM 

r lewis>>>
I'd would never call you an 'angry idiot'.

There is absolutely NO proof whatsoever that their is life on Mars...Life on Earth>>>YES

...and I am sure you will agree with that logic?



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PostPosted: August 27, 2010 5:04 AM 

Yet there are more and more hints to life on Mars dx - starting with the allan hills meteorite to the detection of seasonal changing concentrations of methane in the martian athmosphere. Let the data coming Smile


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PostPosted: September 4, 2010 12:15 PM 

Viking Experiment May Have Found Life’s Building Blocks on Mars After All.


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Reply: 12

PostPosted: September 4, 2010 1:46 PM 

Apparently the majority believe microbial life has existed and probably continues on Mars under appropriate conditions but what appears to be more important is WHY has it not evolved into higher life forms.

Many forms of life have been destroyed multiple times on earth but it has recovered and flourished . Why not on Mars?


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Reply: 13

PostPosted: September 4, 2010 1:54 PM 

Horton, very interesting reading, thanks for this link.

Let us cross our fingers that Mars Science Lab will reveal more stuff regarding this topic.


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PostPosted: September 4, 2010 11:11 PM 

Ben; Wrong question. Man's exploration of Mars has not even scratched the surface. Higher life forms could be thriving in a multitude of places where our remote instruments have not yet scanned.

We can't come to the conclusion that higher life forms does not or did not exist on mars based on our findings so far. Also, if the viking experiments found microbial life at the surface, as I've been championing from the beginning of the rover journeys, it lets in a number of observations that a number of geologists on this site have been scoffing at, as possible signposts to current or very very recent microbial life on the surface of meridiani and gusev.



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Reply: 15

PostPosted: September 5, 2010 8:48 AM 


You have made an excellent thought provoking point that I admire.

The real reason for 'lack of simple Martian life', if it ever existed, disappeared when the water evaporated and the atmosphere to sustain such life went with it.[not to mention a weak gravity to hold it all together] So microbial 'stuff' vanished into thin air [literally] and never hit the ground, molecules and all consumed by UV rays and other such solar nastiness.

Well, just where are the hand-sized fossils? There are none! I would have expected Oppy to discover these remains long ago. After all isn't Meridiani Planum a water basin of sorts? We are told that! The whole area should have been full of them just lying there waiting for us to see them...OH I see they all 'broke down' in the Martian 'atmosphere'. PLEASE!

I guess there are still folks around who believe in Moon-life too, just because we have examined a few rocks?

I did read the article-[horton's 11 above] but the so-called proof is weak and contrived to make the past story better sounding. 'Perchlorate'...OK.

The MSL will/may resolve the issue.

Mars is a dangerous place to explore, especially to look for a microbe.



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PostPosted: September 5, 2010 1:30 PM 

Winston; Wrong answer. I would say that with the MRO imagery we have a better understanding of the surface of Mars than Earth.

I don't recall anyone seeing anything in those images that could be construed to be credible evidence of Higher Life forms.

No we haven't probed far below the surface
but even the "naked mole rats" require vegetation roots for survival.

I am inclined to think ,even during warmer periods with liquid water on the surface, there never was much vegetation or wouldn't the remote sensing instruments be able to detect associated carbon "peat or coal" in the myriad outcrops exposed by erosion or cratering?


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Reply: 17

PostPosted: September 5, 2010 5:06 PM 

> wouldn't the remote sensing instruments be able to detect associated carbon "peat or coal"...

Which of the remote sesing instruments deployed so far is able to detect organic compounds?

AFAIK, they can only detect carbonates and (barely) atmospheric methane. The furture MAVEN mission will have better capabilities for studying the methane, but I don't know of any instruments past or planned that would directly detect "peat or coal" or oil deposits.


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PostPosted: September 6, 2010 2:32 AM 

A couple of questions. Did life (defined in the context of this post as very simple cells) require a billion years or so of the mineral rich, turbulent environment caused by the 1000 + foot tides generated by the newly formed and close moon to develop? Would a brief early warmer wetter Martian environment have provided the right ingredients for simple cells to develop? If it took billions of years for complex multicellular organisms to appear on Earth, why would we expect complex multicellular development to take place on Mars during a much shorter window of opportunity? What is a higher life form, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, Thoats?

‘Which of the remote sensing instruments deployed so far is able to detect organic compounds?’ Infra-red spectrometry has identified organic material on asteroid 24 Themis, but none has been found on Mars despite intensive coverage from orbit. So no peat or coal. Not too surprising really is it? If plants only colonised the land some 430 MA on earth, how could we even dream about coal beds on Mars?

On the pro life side, we cannot read too much into the fact than none of the martian landers found any evidence of life. Even with the MER mission being extended to the nth degree only a minute sample of the martian surface hs been examined up close and personal. But as Ben points out, we have a pretty good understanding of the surface of Mars. While there are a lot of astrobioplogists sifting through the science returns searching for any evidence of life, present or past, so far that search has been unsuccessful.


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PostPosted: September 6, 2010 1:56 PM 

> Did life ... require a billion years ...

Not according to current thinking. The established view is that life developed within a 100 million years of the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment. But in fact we still have little idea of how life took hold on Earth. For all we know, life on Earth may have arisen or gotten a head start through some form of panspermia. Conversely, more advanced forms could have reached Mars through "reverse" panspermia. Your speculation is as good as mine where the origin of life is concerned.

Perhaps you are correct that extensive surface organic deposits would have been detected by spectrometry, but more spotty or dilute deposits might not show up at the resolution of past instruments. It is only recently that carbonates and phyllosilicates have been identified.

It is hyperbole to say "the search for any evidence of life has been unsuccessful. There clearly has been evidence---the Viking results, the methane detection---which is weighed differently by different observers. A more acceptable statement is that the search for _compelling_ evidence of life has so far been unsuccessful.

r lewis

Posts: 202

Reply: 20

PostPosted: September 8, 2010 11:32 AM 

The point is there is lots of evidence which sugest the possibility that there may have been life on mars in the past and may even be life on mars today.

But if you make statements like "There is absolutely NO life on MARS no matter HOW you slice and dice it," "stop wasting your valuable time with nonsense...SETI is CRAP!!! Period," and "I guess there are still folks around who believe in Moon-life too" you just aren't making any kind of a constructive statement about anything.

This forum is for people who are willing to keep an open mind to at least consider all the possibilities. And there are alot of possibilities for life on mars, including:

1) Mars clearly had a warmer and wetter past environment which might have supported life.

2) Micro-climates may exist today on mars which still could support life.

3) Microorganisms could easily cross-contaminate form earth to mars and vice versa.

4) The pressence of perchorate offer an alternative interpretation of early Viking experiments which were thought to have been contaminated

5) Levin's labeled release experiment on Viking produced a result which would sugest living organisms in the soil, but these results were not accepted because they contradicted the results of other Viking experiments, the SAME experiments which have now been reinterpreted based on the presence of percholrate, which was not known at the time.

There are LOTS of evidence to discuss. If you are willing to discuss anything other than myopic insults and misdirections.

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