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NASA Scientists Find Evidence of Water in Meteorite, Reviving Debate Over Life on Mars

RATE THIS! +44
Posted in Science on 2nd Mar, 2014 01:24 AM by AlexMuller

A team of scientists at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has found evidence of past water movement throughout a Martian meteorite, reviving debate in the scientific community over life on Mars.

 
In 1996, a group of scientists at Johnson led by David McKay, Everett Gibson and Kathie Thomas-Keprta published an article in Science announcing the discovery of biogenic evidence in the Allan Hills 84001(ALH84001) meteorite. In this new study, Gibson and his colleagues focused on structures deep within a 30-pound (13.7-kilogram) Martian meteorite known as Yamato 000593 (Y000593).
 
The team reports that newly discovered different structures and compositional features within the larger Yamato meteorite suggest biological processes might have been at work on Mars hundreds of millions of years ago.
 
The team's findings have been published in the February issue of the journal Astrobiology. The lead author, Lauren White, is based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Co-authors are Gibson, Thomas-Keprta, Simon Clemett and McKay, all based at Johnson. McKay, who led the team that studied the ALH84001 meteorite, died a year ago.
 
"While robotic missions to Mars continue to shed light on the planet's history, the only samples from Mars available for study on Earth are Martian meteorites," said White. "On Earth, we can utilize multiple analytical techniques to take a more in-depth look into meteorites and shed light on the history of Mars. These samples offer clues to the past habitability of this planet.
 
As more Martian meteorites are discovered, continued research focusing on these samples collectively will offer deeper insight into attributes which are indigenous to ancient Mars. Furthermore, as these meteorite studies are compared to present day robotic observations on Mars, the mysteries of the planet's seemingly wetter past will be revealed."

Tags: Marsspacemeteoritewaterlife

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+3
Scientists are very confident that water was abundant on Mars once upon a time and there are speculations that there is some now. While we are waiting for many missions that would explore Mars with people actually going there, we should make of meteorites
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+0
It is important to understand Mars better-what the history of the atmosphere has been, how the climate has changed through time and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability – at least by microbes Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+2
The main problem with analysing Martian meteorites is that it is not possible to eliminate contamination. The features they describe here are nonetheless interesting and show that further studies of these meteorites should continue
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+1
NASA scientists suggest that regions with reappearing streaks that they report here could be added to the special regions under the current definition because of their potential connection with water. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+0
It seems that water is the most likely explanation for the streaks and it would be great to find out the source. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+3
Recently, there was a suggestion, again based on a Martian meteorite, that hinted at life on the red planet - this meteorite has small tunnels running through it and contains materials rich with carbon, one of the key components of life as we know it.
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+2
It may take quite a lot of research to find good evidence that life exited on Mars long time ago. Perhaps the only way would be to collect much more material from the red planet itself Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+0
For centuries people have speculated about the possibility of life on Mars due to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. It is time now to find out more Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+0
For many finding water also supports the possibility that life existed on Mars or if they find some now- that it actually supports it now Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-02
+0
Interest in Mars comes from many countries. In September this year Mars is going to have many visitors: when Maven reaches Mars it will join three functioning spacecraft, two US and one European. India's Mangalyaan also will be arriving about the same time. Reply


 

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