Saturday, October 1, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Mars meteorite may contain evidence of life


Posted on Saturday, 1 March, 2014 | Comment icon 31 comments

Do meteorites hold the key to discovering life on Mars ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
An intriguing meteorite believed to be from Mars is thought to contain signs of extraterrestrial life.
The possibility that we might be able to detect evidence of alien life in meteorites that have come from Mars has been of great interest to scientists for decades. 18 years ago the infamous ALH 84001 meteorite seemed to contain tiny 'fossils' but these were ultimately dismissed as geological in origin.

Now scientists examining a different meteorite, Yamato 000593, claim that they've found unusual carbon-rich spherules and microscopic tunnels within the rock that could be indicative of biological processes.

"We cannot exclude the possibility that the carbon-rich regions in both sets of features may be the product of abiotic mechanisms," the team wrote. "However, textural and compositional similarities to features in terrestrial samples, which have been interpreted as biogenic, imply the intriguing possibility that the Martian features were formed by biotic activity."

Not everyone is convinced by the findings however.

"I don't think the science community will find 'textural and compositional similarities' compelling enough to be proof of a biological origin," said NASA's Chris McKay.

Source: Live Science | Comments (31)

Tags: Mars, Meteorite


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by bison on 28 February, 2014, 19:14
Since one can not disprove a negative, it's not possible to definitely state that the minute tunnels in the meteorite were not formed by escaping gas. The test of a scientific hypothesis is its probability, as against other possibilities. Is it more probable that the tunnels were produced by a known process of bacterial erosion, or by a form of gas diffusion for which we have no evidence?
Comment icon #23 Posted by scowl on 1 March, 2014, 19:10
Yes. However since we have found absolutely no other evidence of life on Mars and we know virtually nothing about the geology of Mars, I would bet my life savings that we are looking at some type of geological process or some other process that we don't know about. These rocks are four billion years old, were impacted by a meteorite, spent an unknown amount of time in space and an unknown amount of time on Earth before they were discovered. The tunneling has been seen in two meteorites, one that suggests that it could have been a biological process and another that doesn't suggest it was a bio... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by bison on 1 March, 2014, 19:29
If it were merely a matter of the shape of the structures (morphology) the case would be considerably weaker. We also have the carbon, not from carbonates, enrichment of those specific structures, relative to the rest of the meteorite, suggesting that they were once alive, or in contact with living things. We also have the presence of similar tunnels in another Mars meteorite and their absence from a control meteorite found in Antarctica, and not originating on Mars.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Whatsinausername on 1 March, 2014, 19:33
The title should read "It's highly unlikely a Mars meteorite may contain evidence of life"
Comment icon #26 Posted by scowl on 1 March, 2014, 20:34
If it were merely a matter of the shape of the structures (morphology) the case would be considerably weaker. We also have the carbon, not from carbonates, enrichment of those specific structures, relative to the rest of the meteorite, suggesting that they were once alive, or in contact with living things. I wouldn't bet that life put the carbon there, not in a four billion year old rock from a planet we don't know much about which traveled across the solar system and spent an unknown amount of time on Earth. There could be other processes responsible. I haven't seen anything that says the car... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by DONTEATUS on 1 March, 2014, 21:07
Lets Keep Looking !
Comment icon #28 Posted by susieice on 2 March, 2014, 0:54
Still reminds me of Deception Point.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Sundew on 3 March, 2014, 2:04
I wouldn't bet that life put the carbon there, not in a four billion year old rock from a planet we don't know much about which traveled across the solar system and spent an unknown amount of time on Earth. There could be other processes responsible. I haven't seen anything that says the carbon could have only been the result of biological enrichment. But if it would help fund further exploration of Mars then I would say yes, there is absolutely no doubt that life alone is the only explanation for that carbon! If one assumes that the building blocks of life (i.e. the chemical elements and thei... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by qxcontinuum on 20 August, 2014, 4:41
Good to see at least that someone from Nasa is optimistic about existence of past life on Mars. Even as only hypothetical rarely this is emerging from Nasa arm chair explorers.
Comment icon #31 Posted by psyche101 on 20 August, 2014, 5:53
We need a robot to go there and pick up some stuff and fire it back to us. Wouldn't get much payload back, I don't think, it will take some gas getting off Mars Getting of Mars would not be as hard as getting of Earth, it is about one sixth the size of earth and one third the gravity.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5776368
261849
162716

 
Rosetta is destroyed in comet crash-landing
9-30-2016
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has gone out in a blaze of glory by deliberately colliding with comet 67P.
Woman is able to smell Parkinson's disease
9-30-2016
Joy Milne from Perth, Australia has developed the unique ability to sniff out the debilitating condition.
Tech giants team up to form AI ethics board
9-29-2016
Several major technology companies have joined forces in an effort to prevent an AI-fuelled apocalypse.
Catholic Church: 'exorcists in urgent demand'
9-29-2016
A rise in occult and superstitious practices has allegedly brought about a major exorcist shortage.
Featured book
 
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Fixed points
Posted 9-30-2016 | 0 comments
Michael explores the idea of fixed points in this new Vsauce video.
 
World's largest rock band
Posted 9-29-2016 | 3 comments
This Chinese rock band has 953 members including 349 singers and 154 guitarists.
 
Alaska's bubbling lakes
Posted 9-28-2016 | 1 comment
Many lakes in the boreal regions of Alaska are emitting copious amounts of methane gas.
 
Elephants unite
Posted 9-27-2016 | 0 comments
Two elephant families decide to join together on the plains of Africa in this BBC wildlife clip.
 
Why do we get pruney fingers in water ?
Posted 9-26-2016 | 2 comments
Why do your fingers turn in to prunes when you stay in the bath too long ?
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Black magic
9-27-2016 | Mineral Wells, Texas
 
Crying mother
9-27-2016 | Centrol Mexico
 
Red-faced monster
9-14-2016 | Lox Florida
 
Locked door
9-14-2016 | Ho Chi Minh city/Vietnam
 
The visit
9-9-2016 | West Palm Beach, Fl
 
Translucent silent UFO
9-9-2016 | Brisbane/Australia
 
Sleep paralysis and strange activity
9-1-2016 | Tarpon Springs, FL
 
Blackout? Possession?
9-1-2016 | Canada
 
Golden ring eyes
8-29-2016 | USA
 
Shared grief experience
8-29-2016 | Scotland, UK
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ