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Evidence of fossilized life found on Mars

Posted on Wednesday, 7 January, 2015 | Comment icon 107 comments

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)

Tags: Mars, Fossil, Microbes

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #98 Posted by badeskov on 25 February, 2015, 3:39
You had a 2 megapixel camera in high school pre-1995? bull****. My first digital camera was purchased in 2002, cost me ~¤200 at the time, and had 2 megapixel resolution (Fujifilm A201 for those who are curious). What make and model of camera did you have 20 years ago with 2 megapixel resolution that was affordable for a high school student in 1995 or before? I call utter BS. Naturally it is BS. Anyone with even the most mediocre knowledge of digital photography would immediately recognize this. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #99 Posted by JesseCuster on 25 February, 2015, 3:43
what is truly bizzare is that a company like Google can build and use better optics for less money. A true example that everything is possible! Every time I am opening up google earth I am impressed by how clar everything can be seen from miles away . What the hell are you talking about? What 'optics' are you talking about? The images you see in Google Earth aren't taken by Google, they are taken by companies and govt. agencies who license those images to Google to be used in Google Earth/Maps. Are you really this ignorant to think that Google has invented cheap 'optics' that takes the images ... [More]
Comment icon #100 Posted by psyche101 on 25 February, 2015, 3:58
You're beyond a joke at this stage. You're literally just making stuff up off the top of your head. I am starting to wonder if Donna Hare is coaching him......
Comment icon #101 Posted by qxcontinuum on 25 February, 2015, 4:00
lolol what a waste of your potentials...
Comment icon #102 Posted by qxcontinuum on 25 February, 2015, 4:03
What the hell are you talking about? What 'optics' are you talking about? The images you see in Google Earth aren't taken by Google, they are taken by companies and govt. agencies who license those images to Google to be used in Google Earth/Maps. Are you really this ignorant to think that Google has invented cheap 'optics' that takes the images you see in Google Earth? This conversation has gone beyond a farce. You're embarrassing yourself qx. You're beyond a joke at this stage. You're literally just making stuff up off the top of your head. A hell of a lot more curious than you and your fact... [More]
Comment icon #103 Posted by JesseCuster on 25 February, 2015, 4:11
read again GeoEye-1 provides 0.41 m (16 in) panchromatic and 1.65 m (5.4 ft) multispectral imagery in 15.2 km (9.4 mi) swaths. The spacecraft is intended for a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 681 km (423 mi) and an inclination of 98 degrees, with a 10:30 a.m. equator crossing time. GeoEye-1 can image up to 60 degrees off nadir. It is operated out of Dulles, Virginia. At the time of its launch, GeoEye-1 was the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite.[10] GeoEye-1 was manufactured inGilbert, Arizona by General Dynamics and laun... [More]
Comment icon #104 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 25 February, 2015, 9:26
Qxcontinuum many of the highest resolution images on Google Earth is actually taken from relatively low flying airplanes, not satellites. Google Earth uses whatever images are available, that is why the resolution varies from place to place. If Google had their own satellite the resolution would be the same everywhere - wouldn't it ?
Comment icon #105 Posted by toast on 25 February, 2015, 10:47
read again As the resolution of the rover cams seems to be yr favorite candy in general, I would like to say, read first: A number of factors led to the use of 2MP sensors in the main imaging cameras used on NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, says the project manager responsible for their development. The slow data rates available for broadcasting images back to Earth and the team's familiarity with that family of sensors played a part, says Malin Space Science Systems' Mike Ravine, but the biggest factor was the specifications being fixed as far back as 2004. Multi-shot panoramas will see the came... [More]
Comment icon #106 Posted by toast on 25 February, 2015, 11:21
no it doesn't but it is my money invested there... so i care how they are being spent! Ok, if you are an USA citizen, then your share (by your paid taxes) on the MSL hardware is approximately 14USD in total and so approximately 1,74USD per year for the time period 2004-2011. If you feel that yr 14USD have been spent wrong, pls feel free to get in contact with the mission hardware development responsible managers. You will find full contact details of these persons on the NASA HP. As I`m very interested in the communications, please be so kind and open a new thread (in the Jokes&Humor secti... [More]
Comment icon #107 Posted by qxcontinuum on 25 February, 2015, 13:07
Did you read your own link? GeoEye1 was designed and manufactured by General Dynamics. Google have merely purchased rights to use its imagery at a maximum resolution of 50cm/pixel. How does that square with your claim that Google have invented cheaper optics than NASA taking better satellite imagery than anything NASA has? the maximum resolution of the GeoEye camera you mention to is less (40cm vs. 30cm) than that on the HiRISE NASA camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which can take images at up to 30cm/pixel and which is hundreds of millions of miles away taking better imagery on a... [More]

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