Could all life on Earth have originated on Mars ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
New evidence suggests that life on our planet may have arrived here after first developing on Mars.
The revolutionary theory will be presented at the annual Goldschmidt conference today and is based on new evidence that backs up the notion that life didn't originate on Earth at all but instead was carried here from Mars on meteorites.
Professor Steven Benner is due to present the findings that suggest that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, thought to be a crucial component in the development of life, would have only been present on the surface of Mars.
"It's only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed," he said. "This form of molybdenum couldn't have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It's yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."
Furthermore, early Earth is likely to have had so much water coverage that this would have impeded life's development. The evidence even points to the likelihood that the conditions favorable to the origins of life on Mars are actually still present there now.
"The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," said Benner. "It's lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell."
Source: Goldschmidt Press Release | Comments (22)
Mars, Life, Earth, Panspermia