Friday, December 18, 2009

Life and Death on Mars - The Sahara Desert may know...

ALH84001 is a 13,000 year old meteorite from Mars, found in 1984 in the Allan Hills Region of Antarctica. This sample contained nanometer-sized iron sulfide and iron oxide grains (which was theorized were produced by bacteria) and organic compounds known at polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PHAs, which suggested the organic remains of Martian organisms. In November of 2009, NASA scientists commenced new research that used a new analysis technique, called ion beam milling, to study the iron grains. They concluded that there is "considerable evidence" that the nanocrystal iron grains were not the result of geology, which leaves biology as the real only other alternative.

Finding Life on Mars may be much more difficult that finding a needle in a haystack. One only needs to look at the Sahara Desert to illustrate this point. Only recently (and only available in certain areas) proof has been found that the Sahara Desert was an Ocean 30 Million years ago. It then became Swamp and then Rain Forrest. Then, with devastating climate shifts, the area became the Sahara Desert. One could research miles and miles of the Sahara Desert and not see any evidence of life, or even past evidence of an ocean. With this in mind, and knowing that Mars once had an Atmosphere, and with increasing evidence of Ocean erosion - the possibility is looking better and better that some form of life once existed on Mars. Perhaps we will eventually find skeletons as advanced as the Whale skeletons we are now finding in the Sahara Desert.

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