Sunday, December 5, 2010

Martian Life Once Very Much Like Early Earth

Are we the aliens we've been looking for?

one looks to the history of Mars we see that long ago, liquid, standing water, plus flowing streams, did exist. We found many starling facts: Atmosphere - meaning climate! the planet warmed the more impacts it absorbed - which makes perfect sense. Those impacts were most likely what melted the surface and underground ice, and that warmth also helped cut valleys that rival the Grand Canyon. Impacts by the way, are significant for other reasons. A comet for instance, bringing water, as they did for Earth, asteroids and meteors containing minerals, ores, helped form the planet. Everything we have, we are, came from somewhere else. Out there.

Back to Mars, above, some offer that it didn't have enough time to develop those features we now see on the Marscape. Still, they also concede that solar output was only 75% of what it is today, billions of years later.

The Hubble photo you recognize of Mars on the left, and the infrared photo showing the places on Mars where mineral life contains water - over half.

By "early" Earth I refer to a chaotic time, still the time when life already took hold in the form of
bacteria, which produce methane. An interesting side-fact is the bacteria we know today from fossil record required warm temperatures.

Methane can also occur during asteroid collisions - such as those endured by early Mars. And Earth.

This Hubble photo is of a methane cloud on Mars. Very odd, yes? Reminds me of bigfoot. Anyway...

The planet Mars once looked entirely different, very much like this. So when Mars was a living, thriving place, why did it look so much like today's Earth? The correlation between how similar our two planets are cannot be ignored. It begs the question:

Did life in this galaxy start on Mars?

Draw out that premise. Simple bacterial, methane gaseous water life becoming endangered on Mars because of, say, an environmental catastrophe like a meteor hit, throwing Martian soil rich in nutrients out into space. Eventually it would wander into the orbit of another celestial body - where would it land? The closest place: EARTH.

It would be one of two explanations for how life started here, billions of years ago. It also would've been non-complex life, as we know our own was.

Below is a Martian soil sample.

Soil samples retrieved from Mars show the presence of nutrients for plants to grow! This is exciting to me. Could the plants we see now on Earth have originated in Martian soil, as nutrients?

This image is considered evidence of early life on Mars, with its ancient craters from impacts bringing water and valleys cut into the Martian ground through warming as explained above.

Just let your mind examine the premise.
Haven't we always felt life was e
verywhere, it seemed to almost be the definition of life itself - something that thrives wherever it can, replicating itself over and over.

to think: Could life on Earth have started from the remnants of another galaxy, or a dying planet? Like...Mars?

Picture these bacterial floating particles full of nutrients finding a purchase on Earth, larger by half than Mars, and starting the process of microbial into complex life. Why isn't this possible? Hasn't it ever bothered you that when people say "life" they always mean something complex and visible? Amino acids are the building blocks of life through their proteins, yet we can't see them.

Our Rover Mission to Mars has been delayed till February. Its robotic vehicles will take further soil samples which will surely contain fossil remains containing evidence of this early life.

Yes! FASSScinating.


Adirondackcountrygal said...

Very interesting article Cathy!

Anonymous said...

Very cool!

It makes me wonder if Mars could have been The Garden of Eden...

Jeanie said...

Your entries always give me food for thought Cathy.
This was so thought provoking.
Jeanie xx

Ben said...

I had always thought the people I knew were clear proof we're descended from apes. Now your thought-provoking post has me wondering if they're proof life on earth originated on Mars. My head hurts.


DB said...

The problem with you is that you think too much. (Just kidding) No, the problem is that you make the rest of us think too much, a mere byproduct in my case.

I have often wondered if, aside from global warming which is a result of Earth changes, due to universal expansion, or the using up of fuel, the sun is cooling at a rate too slow to be measured, which would explain the closing down of Mars as a viable living space, and, if so, will we all be living on Venus in a few million years. If so I'll meet you there.