Hot springs on Mars may have nourished lifeNovember 4th, 2011 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 4 (IANS) Warm water mingled with rocks under the Martian surface for eons and may have been the likeliest places where life flourished on the Red Planet.
“If surface habitats were short-term, that doesn’t mean we should be glum about prospects for life on Mars - but it says something about what type of environment we might want to look in,” said Bethany Ehlmann, NASA scientist at Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.
“The most stable Mars habitats over long durations appear to have been in the subsurface,” adds Ehlmann. Scientists point out that similar hot springs on earth host life, reports the journal Nature.
“The types of clay minerals that formed in the shallow subsurface are all over Mars,” said John Mustard, professor at Brown University in Providence, US, according to the Daily Mail.
Differences in the mineral composition of clays on Mars let scientists see clearly which clays were formed on the surface, and which below.
One of the warmest, wettest - and most habitable - of the areas with surface clay is next on the list for Man to visit, in the form of the car-sized Curiosity rover.
Launching this year, the Curiosity rover will land and investigate layers that contain clay and sulphate minerals.
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, in development for a 2013 launch, may provide evidence for or against this new interpretation of the Red Planet’s environmental history.
- Nuclear-powered US rover launched to probe Mars' habitability - Nov 26, 2011
- Water in Mars regions may have rudimentary life - Dec 13, 2011
- NASA's Mars rover begins research in space - Dec 14, 2011
- NASA picks landing site for next Mars probe - Jul 23, 2011
- Three more missions to Mars planned - Nov 24, 2011
- Mars rover begins space research - Dec 14, 2011
- Mars rover Curiosity targets football-sized rock - Sep 20, 2012
- NASA rover lands on Mars to discover if there was life (Lead) - Aug 06, 2012
- US rover to scout for Mars' habitability - Nov 27, 2011
- Curiosity makes maiden move on Mars - Aug 23, 2012
- NASA's Mars Orbiter completes 5-yr mark - Mar 10, 2011
- Curiosity sends first 3D images from Mars - Aug 08, 2012
- NASA to launch new mission to Mars Saturday - Nov 24, 2011
- NASA's next Mars rover arrives in Florida - Jun 24, 2011
- Mars Rover find traces of mineral gypsum - Dec 08, 2011
Tags: bethany ehlmann, brown university, clay minerals, daily mail, eons, jet propulsion lab, journal nature, launch, life on mars, mars atmosphere, martian surface, maven, mineral composition, nasa, nasa scientist, new interpretation, red planet, surface clay, types of clay, volatile evolution