DailyDirt: Mounting Evidence For Life On Mars

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A warmer, wetter Mars might have been a habitable world, but it’s not clear exactly how the conditions on Mars changed and became so different. Our neighboring planet had the best chances for harboring life as we know it, even if it doesn’t anymore. There’s really no proof that Mars supported life (yet?), but it’s not impossible to think that things once lived there. Here are just a few clues that could lead to finding alien lifeforms.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Mounting Evidence For Life On Mars”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I remember reading about an Astrobiologist named Richard Hoover, who spent more than 46 years working at NASA. He spoke about the Opportunity rover take a picture of a rock that appeared to contain what looked like a fossilized star fish. Shortly after photograph was taken, NASA destroyed the surface of the rock using a rock abrasion tool.

“Opportunity rover in 2004 took an image of a fascinating structure on Mars that shows structural features that are consistent with organisms on Earth known as crinoids . . . Crinoids are echinoderms, like starfish . . . so these are animals! And I’m saying that Opportunity took a photograph on Mars that shows features that are consistent with what we know of crinoids . . . Now, the fascinating thing is here you have a possible fossil of a very interesting organism in a rock on Mars, and three hours and a half after that photograph was done, that rock was destroyed by the rock abrasion tool.”

“Hoover claims that he asked NASA astrobiologist David McKay to explain why such an interesting structure was destroyed. He was told that it was done “to look at the inside looking for carbon.” But Hoover has a problem with this answer. He explains, “Well, the problem is, anyone who does much in the field of paleontology knows that you don’t have to find carbon to find fossil.” To further explain his confusion by the decision to destroy a potential fossil, Hoover offered this analogy: “If a paleontologist finds on Earth a rock containing an interesting fossil, they collect it. You would never have a paleontologist say, ‘Gee. That may represent a new genus of life on Earth. Where’s my rock hammer? I want to smash that to bits.”


I find quite a few things interesting about Mars. Such as how many probes and rovers countries from around the world are sending there. I believe NASA has sent no less than three rovers to the planet. Something interesting must be there for them to keep sending more and more rovers.

I don’t think there’s still life on Mars, probably just fossils of early life. Perhaps even evidence of aliens visiting the planet. Pyramids? Maybe etched faces?

Another thing I find interesting, is less than a year ago Pope Francis hinted at the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Which is quite extraordinary coming from the head of a conservative religious group.

“Speaking on Monday during the homily at his daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta inside Vatican City where he lives, he told his mostly clerical audience that they should keep an open mind to anyone—or anything—seeking God. “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” he asked parishioners. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’”


I know there’s a lot of people who laugh at the “crazy” idea of aliens. But given the size of the universe. I laugh at the idea that earth is the only planet out there with lifeforms on it, and that we’re the most technologically advanced species in the universe.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hoover offered this analogy: “If a paleontologist finds on Earth a rock containing an interesting fossil, they collect it. You would never have a paleontologist say, ‘Gee. That may represent a new genus of life on Earth. Where’s my rock hammer? I want to smash that to bits.”

But he wasn’t a paleontologist, now, was he? And that’s just it – people who think they know what they’re doing destroy priceless finds all the time here on Earth. What makes you think Mars would be any different? My dad’s a geologist, and one site he had the privilege of visiting, they had a “professional” who showed up and started using explosives to “unearth” several fossils… which were reduced to a fine powder.

Anywho, I wouldn’t worry about it. If it really was a fossil, there’ll be many more. The odds of that being the ONLY fossil on Mars are… astronomical. Thank you! I’ll be here all week, ladies and gents!

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: But, But, The Bible ... !

Yes, most do. Why would God make so many planets, and yet only fill one with life? Only the arrogant and ignorant ones think only Earth has life. Unfortunately, the more arrogant and ignorant they are, the more likely they are to trumpet their arrogance and ignorance out loud… and the more likely they will be the one shown on the daily news. It’s like flying saucers – they could have a bus load of students from MIT available, but who actually gets on the news? Billy-Bob, the only slack-jawed yokel for a hundred miles around. 🙂

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