More results for the possibility of Life on Mars - Page 5

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Reply: 81

PostPosted: March 6, 2011 10:15 AM 

Could not do a new topic, so I'm posting this here.




Posts: 3465

Reply: 82

PostPosted: March 6, 2011 11:22 AM 

From Stan's link to Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites:

Dr. Hoover has discovered evidence of microfossils similar to Cyanobacteria, in freshly fractured slices of the interior surfaces of the Alais, Ivuna, and Orgueil CI1 carbonaceous meteorites. Based on Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and other measures, Dr. Hoover has concluded they are indigenous to these meteors and are similar to trichomic cyanobacteria and other trichomic prokaryotes such as filamentous sulfur bacteria. He concludes these fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons, and other astral bodies. The implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets.

So perhaps "stringy" features in the MER MI images are an expression of the micron level "stringy" microfossils observed in this paper.

Also from the link:

Dr. Richard Hoover is a highly respected scientist and astrobiologist with a prestigious record of accomplishment at NASA. Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis. Our intention is to publish the commentaries, both pro and con, alongside Dr. Hoover's paper. In this way, the paper will have received a thorough vetting, and all points of view can be presented. No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough analysis, and no other scientific journal in the history of science has made such a profoundly important paper available to the scientific community, for comment, before it is published. We believe the best way to advance science, is to promote debate and discussion.

Exciting times.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 83

PostPosted: March 6, 2011 9:27 PM 

Interestingly enough the same journal recently published a paper on the potential for ejecta from meteorite impact on Earth to be travelling the solar system. Perhaps these extremely rare meteorites are just returning home.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 84

PostPosted: March 6, 2011 9:50 PM 

Serpens, that certainly would be a "got'cha".

from the paper:

Studies carried out at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow by Academician Alexei Yu. Rozanov has revealed that framboids are present in the upper Permian black shales of the Berents Sea shelf which are similar in similar size distribution and characteristics as those found in the Alais and other carbonaceous meteorites.

SO, IF detailed examination of the black shales of the Berrents Sea shelf show an exact match - including the microfossils - THEN it is reasonable to conclude their origin is Earth - especially if a "smoking gun" ( crater ) can be discovered in the shales.

My bet is on Europa as the source of the fossils. Perhaps we are all Jovians.

HOWEVER. Table V shows that the D/H ratio of the carbonaceous meteorites is closer to that of comets than to Earth.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 85

PostPosted: March 7, 2011 10:44 PM 

Hortonheardawho. Yep and here is the smoking gun.
Contamination of ejecta by vaporised cometary fragments would explain the DEH ratio being between that of comets and Earth.

Hoover raised this claim in 2004 and did not receive any support from peers. Now, after 6 years he has raised it again. I find two aspects of his approach most disappointing. Firstly he does not address the very high probability that this meteorite has an Earthly origin and secondly, he did not submit the article to a high profile peer-refereed scientific journal (Which the journal of Cosmology is not). NASA would probably give their right arm and half of Florida to have some proof of extra-terrestrial life to give some impetus to their flagging profile and funding woes. But Hoover does not seem to have any support from NASA in this matter and it is disappointing that he has apparently failed to take note of the mistakes of his NASA colleagues with respect to the ALH 84001 Martian meteorite.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 86

PostPosted: March 8, 2011 7:18 AM 

Serpens, thanks for the link to the abstract of the paper Large impact crater in the Barents Sea

I can't actually read the paper as it is behind a paywall - which I presume you can penetrate as a GeoScienceWorld subscriber?

I note that the paper is almost 2 decades old and I presume the seismic claim has since been confirmed by some sort of drilling program??

I worked as a scientific programmer in the oil industry 40 years ago, so I know a bit about the accuracy of seismic surveys.

Without a well log it don't mean squat.

But I can see that there is enough circumstantial evidence to cast doubt on the claim that the fossils are not of this Earth.

BTW, only your first "disappointment" has any validity. Where the research is published and by whom is irrelevant to the truth of the matter.



Posts: 344

Reply: 87

PostPosted: March 8, 2011 11:13 AM 

Positive identification of Earth-origin meteorites that have travelled the Solar System would itself be a major discovery. So this line of research should be pursued.

In general, though, I think the bar for establishing the existence of extraterrestrial life has been set impossibly high. I think the ALH scientists have made an excellent case. If there is any other possible explanation for an observation, no matter how many epicycles it involves, it seems the scientific community will prefer it to simple biology. By this standard, the phlogiston theory would never have been overthrown.

The problem with being so ultra-cautious is that we cannot begin to study a pheomenon until its existence has been accepted.


Posts: 14

Reply: 88

PostPosted: March 8, 2011 1:30 PM 

I don't understand the arbitrary line some people draw at "life". It is so abundant on Earth, and it has shown itself to be unbelievably adaptive and resilient. It seems illogical to automatically consider life outside of the Earth to be a last possible explanation for phenomenon. One thing I have noticed in the last few years, is that many highly respected NASA types are now openly saying the L word. In the past this position came with a "loony" label. The new trend will ultimately lead to respectability for the "L" word, and maybe many scientists who felt comfortable in the risk free environment of "its a rock" will feel less comfortable there.


Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 89

PostPosted: March 8, 2011 10:13 PM 

A contributor to this forum once referred to a prediction by Carl Sagan that humans would not recognize the first life they encounter on another world as being life. (I haven't been able to find out more. If anyone knows where that idea was published, please help me out.) I suspect that Sagan's prediction has already come true, on the first extra-terran planet explored. I can't find any discussion of the MER results by astro-biologists. I guess everybody's waiting for proof of life based on detection of the life chemicals common on Earth or culturing experiments that simulate Earth-like conditions, but we really should not have confidence that these approaches would work. We just don't know how different life might be.

Kevin Author Profile Page

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Reply: 90

PostPosted: March 9, 2011 7:10 AM 

The answers are here on Earth, we have seen life thriving miles beneath our Oceans, no light, little oxygen and gleaning energy from all sorts of previously unknown processes including oil seeping through the Ocean floor. Astrobiology is a science growing at the rate of knots as Extremophiles here on Earth change our whole way of thinking about life and how and why it exists. Sadly NASA budgets are not big enough to plan missions to Europa or a sample return mission from Mars, Mankind is too busy hording wealth and waging war. I have no doubt in my mind life is abundant throughout our Galaxy and here in our Solar System. If we are ever to achieve the ultimate feat in Science and find life elsewhere budgets and technology need to be shared by all the Space fairing nations here on Earth.

John Henry Dough

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Reply: 91

PostPosted: March 9, 2011 9:04 AM 

If we should happen to elect a """NASA Friendly""" President of these United States,
Then we might possibly become yet again,
the Superpower in space, that we were before.

If ever there was a planet calling for human habitation,,Mars is it.
Science has proven thru all of History,,to be
the footstool of Greatness. Mars provides this chance.


Posts: 344

Reply: 92

PostPosted: March 9, 2011 4:10 PM 


The standard for identifying fossils on Mars should arguably be the same as that for detecting early life on Earth.


Posts: 2270

Reply: 93

PostPosted: March 9, 2011 7:31 PM 

Barsoomer; Excellent reference, I agree the "standards" should be the same.

As an added note, I discovered a recent book "Trace Fossil Analysis",2007, by Adolph Seilbacher, Yale.
In it he describes and illustrates many abiotic processes that result in pseudofossils.
These include synsedimentary structures, diagenitic structures and tectograms.


Posts: 14

Reply: 94

PostPosted: March 10, 2011 12:44 PM 

"f ever there was a planet calling for human habitation,,Mars is it."

Why would we inhabit another planet. If we need more room for population wouldn't we be better off populating some of the vast areas of the arctic or antarctic regions. The oxygen rich air pressure friendly atmosphere would be would be so much more conclusive to human life. Even the temperature would be warmer.
Why Mars instead of the arctic, antarctic, or even under the oceans?



Posts: 14

Reply: 95

PostPosted: March 10, 2011 12:45 PM 

Sorry for some of the typos in the previous post.

John Henry Dough

Posts: xxx

Reply: 96

PostPosted: March 10, 2011 5:39 PM 

Because we are human and will always need
new impossible challenges?Because it is there?Not because it is easy but because it is hard/(JFK),,,How many thousands,do you think would volunteer to go?..One way,no return?Providing of course we had suitable,
resources,support,habitat,etc.For the knowledge.?

Stan,,,I find myself temporarily,,mentally
blocked,,and un-able to answer at this time,,your question.

I find it,,shocking to say the least that you could ask that question,
here on this Forum.

I have a feeling I am going to be sorry, I even,,,tried to answer your question.
You will have to find the answer in your
own way,the way that suits YOU.

I would go in a heartbeat.


Posts: 14

Reply: 97

PostPosted: March 10, 2011 10:04 PM 

I am all for space exploration (that's why I come to this forum) and eventually sending people to Mars. Although I would love to visit Mars,and would go if I had the opportunity, I just don't have the desire to inhabit Mars.


John Henry Dough

Posts: xxx

Reply: 98

PostPosted: March 11, 2011 10:32 AM 

Stan,,I respect your opinion,,,and am glad
to see your reply this morning.

There are (I think) many readers of this forum.Common sense dictates that there be,
many,many curious people,or like me,Dreamers.

I am not a young man,Old and set,in my ways.,and,I absolutely MUST have
a look at this MRB,,durn near every day.

Horton does not even get a small degree
of the applause/popularity/recognition,,that
he deserves for the ImageJ work that he does.
A truly gifted and talented person.

Once again I am putting to permanent/public storage,my opinion.

THAT,,,,,,is what makes this place unique,
freedom for whoever wishes to say,whatever
he/she, cares to post.

For all who reads this: Thank You for your time.Thank you for whatever reason you have
for reading this blog.


Posts: 2270

Reply: 99

PostPosted: March 15, 2011 12:59 PM 

Interesting article



Posts: 2270

Reply: 100

PostPosted: March 15, 2011 4:01 PM 

Interesting article

[link] .

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