More results for the possibility of Life on Mars - Page 13

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PostPosted: December 15, 2011 7:22 AM 

Methane producing archaea in gypsum!

Maybe Oppy should be directed back to the vein and MI it now to check for colored layers like in the article. Maybe they have to roll above it a few times more to get a cross section view. Smile

John Henry Dough

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PostPosted: December 15, 2011 10:21 AM 

From MPJ's post/link,,,,
A better understanding of methanogens in the salt flat and further isotopic study of their methane will help interpret future measurements of the isotopic composition of methane on Mars.
End Quote
The saline on Mars seems to be a positive,
toward methane production,,,but,,,that could be organic or UN-organic,,,all of this is more data for interpreting what MSL might (or might not) find.Good stuff.Thanks.

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: December 15, 2011 12:02 PM 

The Antarctic is considered to be Mars like and here there has been a major increase in Methane release:



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PostPosted: December 15, 2011 1:57 PM 

Kevin; Did you mean Artic ?
Some geologists believe there are immense deposits of oil and gas beneath the Artic and over time they will be produced thereby extending the petroleum era.

Antartic has the same potential.


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PostPosted: December 15, 2011 5:03 PM 

Scientists find microbes in lava tube living in conditions like those on Mars

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: December 16, 2011 6:44 AM 

#244 Hi Ben,

I really ought to give myself more time when posting, yes the find is in the Artic however what I meant to say is the same melting of ice will occur in the Antartic as well. As this area is similar to Mars I am thinking that the Methane being released on Mars could be a goging through similar process whereby Methane trapped in ice is released due to the melting process. Does Mars have Hydrocarbons? Now that would speed up the race to the red planet eh.

#245 Hi MPJ it has always been thought the first Human habitat on Mars would be in a Lava Tube, ideal for shielding the radiation and a little bit warmer too. It would be interesting to design mini rovers that could be dropped near to one and roll in and see what is in there. Got to be a 100% sterile rover though, not easy.


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PostPosted: December 16, 2011 2:57 PM 

Kevin; Haven't seen anything that suggests Mars has organic material to form hydrocarbons but then there is Titan??

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: December 17, 2011 7:56 AM 

Titan is top of the list for potential life and Mars is #2, it was a bit tounge in cheek to suggest Mars has more oil than Saudi Arabia. It is depressing that the Trace Gas Orbitor and Exo Mars are in budget cut limbo mainly because NASA cannot commit to the launch vehicle.
There are processes going on deep beneath the Martian surface that I would love to find out more about. It is a shame Spirit did not survive as a lander and take the measurements to see if there was a liquid core. Mars maybe relatively quite in comparison to Earth but I don't think it is completely dead even though it is only 10% of the Earth's mass it could still have enough internal pressure to create significant heat. No matter what as you get nearer the core it will be hotter, plunging something into one of the many sink holes would be a worthwhile trip. No doubt I have a wild imagination but I think deep down toward that core there might be liquid water with microbial life feeding off energy sources such as vents. At one point Mars would have looked similar to Europa or Enceladus, craters show that the impacts melted the ice and fierce flooding followed some of that water would have gone underground.
If I were a mission planner I would not bother roaming around the surface and send one big drill up there like the Mole from Thunderbirds. Drill the bore hole then lower the instruments on a tether and have a good old look and sniff of the area. But as I always say how can your equipment be completely clean and free of Earth bacteria? I think it was Apollo 12 that landed near a previous lander and brought the camera back to Earth, it still had Earth borne microbes on it after 7 or 8 years on the surface of the Moon. Life is more hardy than we think and personally I feel there are several places just in our solar system where it exists, Titan, Europa, Enceladus, the clouds of Jupiter and Venus as well as the Asteroids.
I am not a scientist thank god so I can think with imagination without being shot down by Peers, that is the beauty of MRB vs UMSF and being a complete and utter amateur.


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PostPosted: December 17, 2011 3:18 PM 

The Viking landers were baked in an oven at 233.1 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 hours in a dry-heat sterilization procedure. I think we can be pretty confident they were thoroughly sterilized.

By contrast, subsequent missions have been merely disinfected, not sterilized.

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: December 18, 2011 7:39 AM 

Those who do not like the idea of life elsewhere will tell you til their blue in the face the Vikings were not sterilized.

No need to do that for current missions as they are not looking for life only the conditions that may have supported it.

Nothing like aiming low and missing.


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PostPosted: January 8, 2012 1:58 PM 

There is an interesting abstract:

What can we interpret from carbonate minerals on Mars?
S. L. S. Stipp

in the workshop collection here:


"... molluscs, which produce aragonite, a polymorph of CaCO3 that has a different crystal structure."

"If the carbonate minerals have an intricate form, we might be tempted to identify them with the presence of life."

Hmm. I wonder if the crystalline structure in the carbonate globules in ALH 84001 have an intricate form? By the way, according to


the carbonate globules in ALH 84001 were formed about 3.6 billion years ago. We now know that would have been towards the end of the 200 million year surface warm wet period when the valley networks were formed.


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PostPosted: January 8, 2012 3:22 PM 

Baroomer, interesting links!
One more result from Phoenix which i was not really aware found in the first link too (page 11):
"Among its many contributions, the RAC was used to document the cohesiveness of the soil, which was a frustrating impediment to sample delivery. While this could be electrostatic in nature, the behavior seemed to vary with time of day, possibly implicating water films.
Collectively, the TECP, WCL, and RAC results allow speculation about the role of water in soil weathering. While the soil is pathologically dry by terrestrial standards, it does "breathe" water vapor. The
amount of such water may be greater during climate excursions, and even at night-time temperatures it may be in "non-frozen" states by virtue of its adsorption state or its association with perchlorate, a brineforming salt."

A water source for Martian microbes (which some been already detected by Levins LR x)? Smile


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PostPosted: January 8, 2012 6:19 PM 


Please refer Serpens to your last link. It runs directly counter to his authoritative statements on the latest CY topic.



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PostPosted: January 8, 2012 6:26 PM 

Barsoomer. With carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and liquid water you end up with carbonates. Near surface deposits would probably not have survived the acidic era but some deposits have been identifiedfrom orbit and Spirit found carbonated at Commanche although those were I think classified as precipitation of carbonates dissolved from another (deeper?)location.

The first few hundred million years of Mars could have been, in fact probably was, if not conducive then at least not inimical, to the formation of life. I have always thought (without justification) that the initial trigger for life on Earth may have been the moon which was close enought to pull up miles high tides which would have smashed shorelines and created a mineralised stew.

But carbonate exoskeletons? They first appear in the fossil record on Earth around 500 - 550 million years ago. If they took many billions of years to evolve on Earth why could you expect them to appear in just a few hundred million years on Mars?


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PostPosted: January 8, 2012 10:15 PM 

That is a valid point, Serpens. I don't really expect intricate carbonates in ALH 84001, but I can hope! In any case, I wanted to present those references, which may be applicable to other times and places.


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PostPosted: January 12, 2012 11:04 AM 

I just watched a long talk about the Phoenix mission to Mars from Chris McKay:

he made some very interesting statements - from about minute 42 - about not sterilized Mars probes after Viking and that we brought viable (dormant) microbes to Mars already! Wink

The whole talk is very interesting and especially puts things into perspective from an astrobiology point of view. Although very carefully he also points out a small watercycle which is quite similar to what Levin had proposed years ago and he attributed the stickiness of the soil in the sample shovel to thin films of liquid (briny-) water in the ice rich soil. Unfortunately he did not talk about the microscopic results and findings.


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PostPosted: January 18, 2012 10:56 AM 


Synthetic evolution of multi-cellular life. Easier than expected.


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PostPosted: January 20, 2012 11:06 AM

Earth's early atmosphere was oxidizing, not reducing, which makes it more likely that life, or at least the building blocks of life, came from elsewhere.


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PostPosted: January 21, 2012 6:16 AM 

For the skeptics not even acknowledging the mounting evidence(hints) for Martian life: what about life on Venus? Very Happy

Life Spotted on Venus - Russian Scientist

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: January 23, 2012 10:58 AM 

Sometimes the most simple things can explain some of the most complicated questions. In the experiment using yeast it domonstrates how single cell creatures started to form into more complex creatures.">

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