Since the dawn of astronomy, humans have been obsessed with the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. In fact, much of the scientific focus on Mars is devoted to answering this question as it exists Hints Which could be the red planet microbial life in her youth.
But you don’t actually have to go to Mars to study the planet. Fittingly, about 11 million years ago, a group of Martian meteorites known as nakhlites struck Earth, likely driven by a massive impact force on Mars that sent debris into the solar system that eventually found its way back to Earth. Swedish doctoral student Josephine Martell – along with a team of scientists at Lund University – investigated the lair properties of these rocks.
Although the Martell team doesn’t search for vital fingerprints in this space debris, the chemical composition of meteorites reveals an abundance of the prerequisites for life on Mars. Investigating the extent to which a nickelite comes into contact with water while on Mars can answer what, in a press releaseMartel called the central question of whether life existed there.
Related: The 24-year-old mystery of whether a Mars meteorite harbored microbial life remains unsolved
“The most likely explanation is that the reaction occurred after small accumulations of underground ice melted during a meteorite impact about 630 million years ago. Of course, this does not mean that life could not exist elsewhere on Mars, or that it could not be,” Martell explained. There would be life at other times.
The international team published their findings in Science Advances, and found that water was too limited to support life. Without water, life as we know it would be impossible.
But was there enough water to support life on Mars? It should be noted that some notable planetary scientists, including Eric Asphoge of the University of Arizona, I assumed that was true. Although Mars appears dry now, it has not always been this way: Extremely volatile climates and a dark atmosphere have slowly turned Mars into an inhospitable desert planet. However, water was once abundant on Mars, as evidenced by riverbeds and physical evidence of a hydrothermal system.
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Using non-destructive imaging techniques, Swedish geologists have determined the limited extent of water’s interaction with grains of a mineral called olivine. consequences study He pointed out that the metals actually reacted with the water.
Martell suggested that the minerals may have interacted with small underground icy deposits that melted when a meteorite hit Mars more than 700 million years later. However, life could have existed at other places or times on Mars.
Like most Martian meteorites, the relatively recent formation and displacement of the palms mean that they provide only a partial picture of the smaller planet Mars. Palms may have appeared on Earth about 11 million years ago, but they left Mars an estimated 1.3 billion years ago in the current Amazon period. Hence, palms represent one of the oldest samples of Martian geology that we have access to. Ancient Mars had a prolific geological exchange with Earth.
While the early history of Mars—the time when life may have already evolved—remains a mystery, Martell’s team may soon be able to access the most ancient bedrock. These samples are expected to reveal more details about the water on Mars.
Martel’s team discovered the previous presence of water on the samples by firing neutrons at the palms. Neutrons, which are neutrally charged subatomic particles, are adept at detecting the presence of hydrogen, one of the two components that make up water.
Since water has been crucial to the development of life on Earth, it is considered a major component necessary for the evolution of primitive life. Oddly enough, some scientists go so far as to suggest that life arose on Mars before migrating to Earth through the chance a meteorite pushed Martian surface rock containing microbes into space, where they eventually found their way back to Earth. The theory was once a fringe belief among scholars, and it has gained more traction in recent years, such as from Nicole Karles Salon. mentioned Previously.
In fact, the presence of water on primitive Earth accelerated the evolution of complex microbial life so quickly that life appeared relatively easily in habitable worlds, or that a hypothetical transplant of extraterrestrial microbes gave Earth an evolutionary launch.
else study Last month in Science Advances lend some credence to the idea. A team of scientists has found evidence of microbial life on Earth much earlier than previously expected. Earlier, controversial study The team documented the remains of branching microbial structures in a piece of rock that was between 3.75 and 4.28 billion years old. However, further analysis revealed a more complex structure and evidence for hundreds of distorted domains without explanation except for microbial life.
Lead author Dr. Dominic Papineau said: “This means that life could begin in as little as 300 million years after the Earth formed. Geologically, that’s fast – about one rotation of the Sun around the galaxy.” science daily. “These findings have implications for the possibility of extraterrestrial life. If life is relatively fast, under the right conditions, this increases the chance of life on other planets.”
However, scientists debate whether water has existed long enough on Mars for life to develop. The puzzle will be somewhat easier to solve once the Martian rock samples collected by NASA’s Perseverance Rover return to Earth, which could happen around 2030. Analysis of these rocks in Earth labs could get to the bottom of the puzzle.
Read more about the possibility of life on Mars:
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