Planet Mars was not always so cold and dry as it now. In the past, Mars was similar to earth. In the past Mars used to have oceans, lakes, or maybe also life. No one knows what happened in the past. How? the ocean and lakes of Mars got destroyed. How Mars ended up like a cold and dry place. What had happened to Mars in the past?
Conspiracy Theories About Alien Life On Mars
Evidence Of Life On Mars
New research published by scientists at institutions in Italy, Australia, and Germany Italy, Australia, and Germany has found evidence of a saltwater lake and several smaller saltwater ponds under the surface south polar reason of Mars. This research raised the possibility that there could be life on Mars.
Key Facts Of The Research Paper
- The findings were made by Italian scientists using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, according to a study published in the Nature Astronomy journal.
- Scientists were able to conclude that the lake was indeed in liquid form and this could have “important consequences for astrobiology and the presence of habitable niches on Mars,” CNN reported.
- Apart from the large lake, the scientists managed to detect several other smaller patches of water of different sizes which were separated from the main lake by strips of dry land.
- The liquid nature of the water bodies suggests that they are “hypersaline”—containing high amounts of salt— which prevents them from freezing despite the cold environment.
- According to scientists, the saline nature of the water bodies may have allowed them to “survive for an extended period of time on a geological scale,” which could help us gain a better understanding of Mars climate and chemical makeup.
- The scientists speculate that the water bodies may either host anaerobic life forms, which are microbial organisms that don’t need oxygen, or extremophiles and organisms that can survive in extreme temperatures.
Possibility Of Life In Lakes Of Mars
The study said, “The possibility of extended hyper-saline water bodies on Mars is particularly exciting because of the potential for the existence of microbial life.”
Although hyper-saline water would give microbes a place to live below Mars’ south polar cap, without an energy (food) source of some kind they could not survive. Chemical reactions between water and rock might release some energy but probably not enough; it would help if there was an occasional volcanic eruption, or at least hot spring, feeding into the lake.
We lack evidence of this on Mars, unlike on Europa and Enceladus. Although the new findings make Mars even more interesting than before, they haven’t advanced its ranking in the list of solar system bodies most likely to host life.
That said, the salty water could act as a preservation chamber—helping us find alien organisms that are now extinct but once came to Mars from other parts of the solar system.
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