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Space & Astronomy

Does life exist beneath the Martian soil ?

June 17, 2015 | Comment icon 12 comments



Microbes may still exist today beneath the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists have identified traces of methane inside space rocks that are thought to have come from Mars.
The discovery has been hailed as particularly significant because it opens up the possibility that methane-eating microbes could be living just below the surface of the planet.

"We must be clear that we have not detected life," said Nigel Blamey of Brock University in Ontario. "However, if life exists on Mars, then we should be focusing on the subsurface."
The surface of Mars, where temperatures can plummet to below -90C, is an undeniably hostile environment for life, but if microbes capable of living off methane in place of oxygen can survive in some of the most extreme places on Earth then it is not outside the realms of possibility that something similar could have found a way to eke out an existence below the Martian soil.

Whether or not the methane on Mars is an indication of life however remains to be seen.

The European Space Agency's ExoMars mission, which aims to drill two meters down below the surface when it arrives in 2019, may help to provide some of the answers.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
Y cant they stop putting these articles if its again about microbes?! While giant Sandworms would be neat, I'm afraid microbes are the most likely culprit for life on Mars and it would be pretty exciting to find them. If they prove to be totally unrelated to any life on Earth it will be VERY exciting.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Yes_Man 7 years ago
Methane gas could be the culprit of why Mars lost all life, since Mars has the biggest volcano in our solar system. microbes may be tiny but its still life
Comment icon #5 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 7 years ago
While giant Sandworms would be neat, I'm afraid microbes are the most likely culprit for life on Mars and it would be pretty exciting to find them. If they prove to be totally unrelated to any life on Earth it will be VERY exciting. U mean seeing nothing is exciting?
Comment icon #6 Posted by AZDZ 7 years ago
Am I having déjà vu, or is has this been news before? It's the later. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4413
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
While giant Sandworms would be neat, I'm afraid microbes are the most likely culprit for life on Mars and it would be pretty exciting to find them. If they prove to be totally unrelated to any life on Earth it will be VERY exciting. I still say we are what's let of life on Mars so I hope we find microbes that are here as well. After we use up the Earth, next stop Venus, provide the atmosphere evl;ives into something we can breathe.
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Am I having déjà vu, or is has this been news before? It's the later. http://www.jpl.nasa....hp?feature=4413 Why not recycle news articles with updates. TV/Movie plots do that allt he time. I have a friend that's an English major/writer. He claims there are only 7 story plots. It's what you do with them that's the difference.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
U mean seeing nothing is exciting? So you have never looked under a microscope? It's not lions and tigers and bears, but it's a jungle in its own right.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Zalmoxis 7 years ago
Old news. I agree that if there is any life on Mars then it would be small and insignificant.
Comment icon #11 Posted by qxcontinuum 7 years ago
and this is what i have been saying always...
Comment icon #12 Posted by seaturtlehorsesnake 7 years ago
U mean seeing nothing is exciting? microbes are not nothing, and finding proof of microbial life on another planet would be beyond exciting.


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