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Space & Astronomy

Mars glass could preserve evidence of life

By T.K. Randall
June 13, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments



Future Mars missions could look for signs of life within impact glass. Image Credit: NASA
Deposits of impact glass on the surface of Mars could potentially contain traces of ancient life forms.
The glass, which was discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, is thought to have been formed by the intense heat produced at the moment of a meteorite strike.

Scientists studying materials sealed inside impact glass here on Earth now believe that something similar could have been preserved on Mars, opening up the possibility of finding evidence of life.
Back in 2014 researchers at Brown University even managed to find organic molecules that had become sealed inside glass following a meteorite impact on Earth millions of years ago.

The find could make glass deposits on Mars a tantalizing target for future missions.

"The researchersí analysis suggests glass deposits are relatively common impact features on Mars," said NASA's Jim Green. "These areas could be targets for future exploration as our robotic scientific explorers pave the way on the journey to Mars with humans in the 2030s."

Source: Earthsky.org | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by seeder 8 years ago
Good news. Now we just need to get some back on earth to analyse
Comment icon #2 Posted by Cesadelo 8 years ago
It's amusing how humanity concentrates on analysing the universe when we haven't even fully explored our own oceans.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
It's amusing how humanity concentrates on analysing the universe when we haven't even fully explored our own oceans. It's not an either/or situation. We, as a species, are capable of studying multiple subjects at the same time. Just because we haven't finished studying the oceans doesn't meant that we can't study the universe any more than the fact that we haven't solved global hunger doesn't mean we can't look for a cure for cancer. Multi-tasking is a good thing.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Iron_Lotus 8 years ago
shame on us for being explorers and having inquisitive minds!!!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
It's amusing how humanity concentrates on analysing the universe when we haven't even fully explored our own oceans. Thankfully, our species has the ability to multi-task. And there's enough of us for all sort of explorations at one time.
Comment icon #6 Posted by kartikg 8 years ago
Why don't they put microscopes on the mars mission? It's a genuine question not intended to spark any conspiracy theory.
Comment icon #7 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
With mars's gravity being what it is, how much fuel do you need to get a small payload of maybe 5 lbs off the surface and back to earth? They could put a up a rover with a bucket to pick up a few rocks and put them a small craft. Seem like it could be done. Sigh.... fossil hunting on mars.


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