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JB80

Life on Mars: Nasa finds first hint of alien life!

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Don't blame me for the headline, blame the telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11297326/Life-on-Mars-Nasa-finds-first-hint-of-alien-life.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11297445/Nasa-discovers-hint-of-life-on-Mars-live.html

The first hints of life on Mars have been discovered by Nasa.

Intriguing ‘burps’ of methane have been recorded by the Curiosity Rover which may have been produced by bacteria. Most methane on Earth is produced as a waste gas by living organisms.

Curiosity has previously found water bound in the fine soil of the Red Planet, believed to be crucial to life. But if the existence of living, breathing microbes is confirmed, it will be the first evidence of life outside Earth.

“What is interesting is that these spikes of methane are coming and going. They are transient,” said Dr Paul Mahaffy at Nasa.

“At the moment we can’t really tell anything, but these burps are intriguing. We have to keep an open mind.

“We don’t want to eliminate anything, and potentially it could indicate life or evidence of ancient methane trapped which could show ancient life.

“But it’s interesting to think about why it comes and goes. It seems to be suggestive of a localised source.”

Nasa claims that with more readings it would be possible to test isotope levels which would prove if the emissions came from a biological source.

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Though the very fact that it is transient suggests that it could be geological (areological?) as permafrost layers give up their methane. Methane is unstable over long time scales so if the methane was present at a continuous background level it would be more convincing evidence of current biological activity.

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I dont understand how this is the first hint. There have been countless images of what look like fossils sent back from the red planet:

PIA18885.jpg

1M131201538EFF0500P2933M2M1.JPG

0617MR0026000840401166E01_DXXX.jpg

I have spend the majority of my life interested in anything fossil form and i would say these are clearly fossils. I live in the South of France now and a few years ago we had a massive plot of land dug down meters and its abundant in things that look just like the images above. I love going down there and seeing what the rain has brought to the surface :)

Callum

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I have lost count of the number of times they have "found" life on Mars. :grin: :grin: :grin:

Isn't methane present in the nebula clouds that planets form from? So could be escaping gas from the formation of Mars.

Also didn't Curiosity have a false alarm of organics, it was itself contaminated and recorded that contamination.

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In the first pic above there appears to be a hominid skull in the top left corner :0)

Personally I suspect life is 'everywhere' and we will soon enough find evidence to support this.

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Well, if there's biological methane then there's a possibility of oil and gas deposits on Mars.

Maybe there is a reason to go there, after all. :eek:

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The methane has to come from somewhere...

mars-1.jpg

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Well, if there's biological methane then there's a possibility of oil and gas deposits on Mars.

Maybe there is a reason to go there, after all. :eek:

There's an abundance of hydrocarbons on Titan - doesn't mean it's economical to go and extract it.  No, the reason anyone will go there will be because a rival nation is trying to get there first.

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There may be a simple and less exciting explanation.

Perhaps curiosity has caused an old sewer to collapse?

Oops! nearly forgot the :D

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It was during the presidency of Gerald Ford, here in the US, that the scientific advisors to the White House hatched a plan for the high cost of oil and gas/petrol. The idea, which was seriously considered by these characters, was to build a pipeline to Jupiter and syphon off it's gas.

I won't bother to write what I thought of this. Part of it is likely unprintable.....

Clear Skies & CH4,

Dave

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It's not that life may or may not have (or is) existed/ing on Mars I myself find amazing, it's the fact that the human race finds the idea of life elsewhere amazing.

Topzy turvy? ... mmm ;)

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It's life, but not as we know it.

You'll be telling me next that there's  Klingon's on the starboard bow... :evil::grin:

I tend to agree with Caths post...  especially with the Increasingly "bizarre" extremophile discoveries being made here on earth - bizarre is probably the wrong word to use...

Peter...

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Not wanting to put a dampener on things, but the methane spikes detected by the rover could also come from natural geological processes and have no biological origin what so ever. 

Edited by reddoss

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I dont understand how this is the first hint. There have been countless images of what look like fossils sent back from the red planet:

PIA18885.jpg

1M131201538EFF0500P2933M2M1.JPG

0617MR0026000840401166E01_DXXX.jpg

I have spend the majority of my life interested in anything fossil form and i would say these are clearly fossils. I live in the South of France now and a few years ago we had a massive plot of land dug down meters and its abundant in things that look just like the images above. I love going down there and seeing what the rain has brought to the surface :)

Callum

Not sure these are fossils. The spherical shapes you see can be seen in calcium or silicate deposits in hot springs, and require no living organisms to form. Similar spherical structures are found chalcedony, hematite, malachite and many other minerals. The lower photograph could well be patterns formed by wind erosion.

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Not sure these are fossils. The spherical shapes you see can be seen in calcium or silicate deposits in hot springs, and require no living organisms to form. Similar spherical structures are found chalcedony, hematite, malachite and many other minerals. The lower photograph could well be patterns formed by wind erosion.

Maybe so, but in the images with the spheres, the spheres are not the only form that resembles a know fossil type found on Earth. There are others in the images but you have to know what to look for. For example, besides the spheres on the first image there are also many long segmented structures, and on the second image a very obvious segmented structure. These resemble perfectly fossils of different Crinoids found here. This would fit in with the idea that Mars once has oceans.

On the lower image i posted, the object of focus was not the rock bed, which yes looks wind eroded. Its the circular feature protruding out of the bed. I find these a lot when working, a common fossil but i'm not sure exactly what they are, some type of Crinoid shell. Heres what they look like found here.

OrdCrinoidHoldfasts.jpg

And an image from Mars which may show dozens more. Granted this could be a natural foramtion but i know little about how they would form.

0137MR0817064000E1_DXXX.jpg

I think the evidence for Mars once having oceans is pretty well known, and if it did then these are exactly the types of fossil we would expect to find.

Callum

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So the Viking landers c.1970s findings vindicated after all ? !

Edited by Ptarmigan

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I sense there are other potential sources for methane release in the form of

sub-surface ices, clathrates (qv) etc. This region was once a lake etc. 

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/222413040_Methane_clathrate_hydrates_as_a_potential_source_for_martian_atmospheric_methane

(Eroded) Mud bubbles? The images are certainly very intriguing though...  ;)

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And an image from Mars which may show dozens more. Granted this could be a natural foramtion but i know little about how they would form.

0137MR0817064000E1_DXXX.jpg

Fascinating isn't it.

Although finding life else where would be far from suprising to me, I would still dearly love to see what form it takes, what it looks like (or used to), what it's based on, how it lives etc etc.

Fascinating.

Edited by Cath

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And an image from Mars which may show dozens more. Granted this could be a natural foramtion but i know little about how they would form.0137MR0817064000E1_DXXX.jpg

I think the evidence for Mars once having oceans is pretty well known, and if it did then these are exactly the types of fossil we would expect to find.

Callum

Interesting but I wonder if they could also be the result of hot gases trapped within solidifying mud flats? Any gases breaking the surface would leave similar artifacts I would of thought. Mars was once quite Volcanic.

Edited by symesie04

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Interesting but I wonder if they could also be the result of hot gases trapped within solidifying mud flats? Any gases breaking the surface would leave similar artifacts I would of thought. Mars was once quite Volcanic.

An interesting thought, and could very well be what we are looking at. 

Though i have to say that all the objects in the image appear to be a similar shape, almost triangular. I'm not sure gas would do this but again, this is something i know little about.

Its so frustrating that all we can do for now if guess about what we are looking at, we wont know for sure until we take a look first hand or get one of our robotic friends to do so! My gut is telling me that Mars did have life though and some of the images above in my opinion prove that point (even though its not official :grin: )

Callum

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