A view from Curiosity overlooking the Gillespie Lake outcrop. Image Credit: NASA
A geobiologist has identified structures on Mars that she believes were created by microbial life.
There have been a lot of claims lately about strange objects being spotted in photographs of Mars, but now Nora Noffke, a geobiologist from the Old Dominion University in Virginia, has unveiled some intriguing evidence to suggest that life may have once flourished there.
Her research is centered on photographs taken by the NASA Curiosity rover of the Gillespie Lake outcrop which she believes show sedimentary rock structures that match similar structures on Earth that are known to have been created by microbial life forms.
Having studied these structures on our own planet for the better part of 20 years, Noffke's analysis of the corresponding structures on Mars is certainly a compelling one. Gillespie Lake itself is thought to be somewhere around 3.7 billion years old so these 'fossils' would have been formed long ago.
"All I can say is, here’s my hypothesis and here’s all the evidence that I have," she said. "Although I do think that this evidence is a lot. At this point, all I’d like to do is point out these similarities. Further evidence must be provided to verify this hypothesis."
While promising, her findings at this early stage remain controversial. It may take a very long time before it can ever be confirmed that the structures were created by extraterrestrial microbes.
Source: Discovery News | Comments (107)
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