Was there ever life on Mars? - Groovy Science


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Friday, August 2, 2019

Was there ever life on Mars?

Our neighbour planet Mars has been a hot topic for all the science enthusiasts out there. It's been so exciting to explore the mars because scientists believe that there might have been life on it way before our existence, and that's the most fascinating fact about mars. But, If life existed on Mars, it would have had to deal with unrelenting radiation and any evidence of that life might only be found underneath the soil, today. The purpose of this article is to make you understand the situation of mars and its past.

In 2016,During the Mars Society annual meeting on September 22 - 25, taken in Washington, D.C. Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist and geologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, painted the limitations on whether living things could have existed on the Mars and what barriers they would have encountered, as well as whether if it is possible that any life form could still be there. Scientists need to recognize life when they see it, not just because it would unravel a vast mystery of the universe, but also because, the life form itself might be hazardous to humans. When the curiosity rover landed on Mars, the goal wasn't to find life on Mars, the goal was to find the traces of life, and if it existed in the past or not.

Mars lost its magnetic field a few billion years ago; we still don't know the real reason for that. That left the Red planet with nothing to block the solar wind and storms, which slowly bled off the planet's atmosphere. It exposed the mars to al of the Radiations. As the atmosphere slowly started to fade away, it might have impacted the existed life forms living on the mars. This is the reason if life exists on Mars, it most probably be underneath the surface. So, the exciting thing here is that if life existed on this barren planet before, when the planet was more habitable when it had a thick layer of atmosphere with less radiation. But after the alow death of that atmosphere life might have adapted to leave under those highly less-habitable circumstances. Maybe over time, life might have retreated deeper underground for protection. Signature of such life might still exist now. The curiosity was designed to find out if it was possible for those signs to survive. The data we received from curiosity showed that some large carbon-based molecules remain in the soil of Mars. And they are not just the results of contamination from the rover itself. 

If we really want to know if life existed on this red planet. We would have to go under the surface of the planet to explore the hidden area and to confirm the traces of life. Our future, human-crewed missions to Mars will most likely focus on exploring the areas under the surface. We would at least would have to go 2-3 meters under. Besides all the protection from the radiation, life also needs liquid water to survive. The good sign is that curiosity found evidence that water can bubble to the Martian surface and turn into frost. Perhaps that water is bringing organisms to the surface. But it less likely for life to exist on the surface, because of high exposure of radiation. Even though curiosity found traces of carbon molecules, it doesn't necessarily mean life existed on mars before. Such molecules can show up from mostly three sources, first is interplanetary and interstellar dust. Second, chemical reactions underground. Third, actual Evidence of life. The search for life on mars could provide a number of benefits. Beyond the scientific value of finding alien organisms, researchers want to identify living creatures on Mars because they might be dangerous to people.  

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