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life on mars?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by BuckeyeSoldier, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. BuckeyeSoldier

    BuckeyeSoldier 2 time Reigning BuckeyePlanet Poker Champion

    Not quite as much evidence as it sounds like at first, but interesting none the less.
    <TABLE border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left width=355>[font=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif][/font]

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    [font=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]Exclusive: NASA Researchers Claim Evidence of Present Life on Mars
    [font=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]By Brian Berger
    Space News Staff Writer
    [/font][font=arial,helvetica]posted: 16 February 2005
    02:09 pm ET

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><META content=Word.Document name=ProgId><META content="Microsoft Word 11" name=Generator><META content="Microsoft Word 11" name=Originator><LINK href="mars_life_050216_files/filelist.xml" rel=File-List><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:SmartTagType name="State" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:SmartTagType><o:SmartTagType name="City" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:SmartTagType><o:SmartTagType name="PlaceType" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:SmartTagType><o:SmartTagType name="PlaceName" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:SmartTagType><o:SmartTagType name="place" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:SmartTagType><OBJECT id=ieooui classid=clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D></OBJECT><STYLE>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }</STYLE><STYLE><!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";}span.SpellE {mso-style-name:""; mso-spl-e:yes;}@page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;}div.Section1 {page:Section1;}--></STYLE>
    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">WASHINGTON</st1:place></st1:State><o:p></o:p> -- A pair of NASA scientists told a group of space officials at a private meeting here Sunday that they have found strong evidence that life may exist today on Mars, hidden away in caves and sustained by pockets of water.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <st1:PlaceName w:st="on"></st1:PlaceName><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"></st1:PlaceName><st1:PlaceType w:st="on"></st1:PlaceType><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place><o:p></o:p>The scientists, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, told the group that they have submitted their findings to the journal Nature for publication in May, and their paper currently is being peer reviewed.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>What Stoker and Lemke have found, according to several attendees of the private meeting, is not direct proof of life on Mars, but methane signatures and other signs of possible biological activity remarkably similar to those recently discovered in caves here on Earth.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    Stoker and other researchers have long theorized that the Martian subsurface could harbor biological organisms that have developed unusual strategies for existing in extreme environments. That suspicion led Stoker and a team of U.S. and Spanish researchers in 2003 to southwestern Spain to search for subsurface life near the Rio Tinto<o:p></o:p> river—so-called because of its reddish tint—the product of iron being dissolved in its highly acidic water.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1:City><o:p></o:p>Stoker did not respond to messages left Tuesday on her voice mail at Ames.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    Stoker told in 2003, weeks before leading the expedition to southwestern Spain, that by studying the very acidic Rio Tinto<o:p></o:p>, she and other scientists hoped to characterize the potential for a “chemical bioreactor” in the subsurface – an underground microbial ecosystem of sorts that might well control the chemistry of the surface environment.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    Making such a discovery at Rio Tinto, Stoker said in 2003, would mean uncovering a new, previously uncharacterized metabolic strategy for living in the subsurface. “For that reason, the search for life in the Rio Tinto<o:p></o:p> is a good analog for searching for life on Mars,” she said.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    Stoker told her private audience Sunday evening that by comparing discoveries made at Rio Tinto<o:p></o:p> with data collected by ground-based telescopes and orbiting spacecraft, including the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, she and Lemke have made a very a strong case that life exists below Mars’ surface.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    The two scientists, according to sources at the Sunday meeting, based their case in part on Mars’ fluctuating methane signatures that could be a sign of an active underground biosphere and nearby surface concentrations of the sulfate jarosite, a mineral salt found on Earth in hot springs and other acidic bodies of water like Rio Tinto<o:p></o:p> that have been found to harbor life despite their inhospitable environments.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place>One of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity, bolstered the case for water on Mars when it discovered jarosite and other mineral salts on a rocky outcropping in Merdiani Planum<o:p></o:p>, the intrepid rover’s landing site chosen because scientists believe the area was once covered by salty sea.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>Stoker and Lemke’s research could lead the search for Martian biology underground, where standing water would help account for the curious methane signatures the two have been analyzing.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>“They are desperate to find out what could be producing the methane,” one attendee told Space News. “Their answer is drill, drill, drill.”

    <o:p> </o:p>

    NASA has no firm plans for sending a drill-equipped lander<o:p></o:p> to Mars, but the agency is planning to launch a powerful new rover in 2009 that could help shed additional light on Stoker and Lemke’s intriguing findings. Dubbed the Mars Science Laboratory, the nuclear-powered rover will range farther than any of its predecessors and will be carrying an advanced mass spectrometer to sniff out methane with greater sensitivity than any instrument flown to date.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    <st1:PlaceName w:st="on"></st1:PlaceName><st1:PlaceType w:st="on"></st1:PlaceType><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"></st1:PlaceName><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"></st1:PlaceName><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place><o:p></o:p>In 1996 a team of NASA and Stanford University researchers created a stir when they published findings that meteorites recovered from the Allen Hills region of Antarctica contained evidence of possible past life on Mars. Those findings remain controversial, with many researchers unconvinced that those meteorites held even possible evidence that very primitive microbial life had once existed on Mars.

  2. Misanthrope

    Misanthrope Banned

    Meanwhile, some folks in New Mexico will see this as old news. :biggrin:
  3. scooter1369

    scooter1369 HTTR Forever.

    Its obviously not a stretch to believe that some sort of life exists on Mars. We have organisms here that can survive in zero oxygen enviroments. Because they can produce their own. So its not hard to believe that such life could in fact exist there.

    Titan on the other hand, is a little harder to believe. If there had been enough oxygen in the air on Titan, our Huygens probe would have destroyed it ala Deathstar style on entry. Its atmosphere and its flowing oceans of liquid methane would have gone boom like a billion nukes.
  4. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

  5. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty You'll have nothing and like it

    No shit there's life up there.

    This guy has been living up there for years.

  6. Romanowski

    Romanowski Junior

    "Give me your hand Mr. Quaid...uhhhg"
  7. Gatorubet

    Gatorubet Loathing All Things Georgia

    Look at those Cavemen go....
  8. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

  9. ____________________________


  10. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

  11. Taosman

    Taosman Your Cousin In New Mexxico

    I like to think it's more a philosophical question than a technological question.
    You either believe in extra-terrestrial life or you don't (evangelicals).
    Last edited: May 22, 2007
  12. Flocka

    Flocka Where you going? NOWHERE!

    Just one or the other?
  13. Taosman

    Taosman Your Cousin In New Mexxico

    Just what part of philosophical don't you understand? :tongue2:
  14. OSU_Buckguy

    OSU_Buckguy Senior

  15. Flocka

    Flocka Where you going? NOWHERE!


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