When it comes to life on other planets, it’s hard to know without definite proof. However, new research now suggests that life on Mars may indeed exist in the form of bacteria that can live in the salty areas of the Red Planet.
Because there is life basically in every place, there is water on Earth, analysis regarding whether Mars was one time able of hosting life, usually focusing on the past or actual existence of liquid water on the surface or underneath it on the Red Planet. Even so, the thin and cold atmosphere that Mars currently has means liquid water has low chances to exist on its surface for no matter how long.
The study’s senior author Mark Schneegurt, an astrobiologist at Wichita State University in Kansas, said that before dawn, the evaporating ice from the planet’s surface could top humidity up to 100 percent. At the highest level, the moisture on Mars can mirror the drier regions of the Atacama Desert in Chile, the most sterile area on Earth, besides its poles, which, still, might be holding life.
There might be life on Mars in the form of bacteria
Moreover, several salts often discovered on the surface of the Red Planet could take in this moisture, because the salty liquids that result have a lower freezing point than water. They could, therefore, survive the cold temperatures that dominate on the Mars’ surface, and probably hold life. Even so, the humidity on the planet’s surface falls during daytime as temperatures increase.
That is why any bacteria on Mars would probably have to manage with continually getting dried out. Schneegurt said that the team has the first data which depicts the growth of microbes after drying and then rehydration through humidity only while being surrounded by salts that assimilate moisture from the air.
These discoveries may broaden what scientists think as habitable when it comes to dry or cold habitats, Schneegurt said. However, this could also mean that there is even higher risk than earlier considered that Earth bacteria can defile other worlds. Accordingly, life on Mars may indeed exist in the form of bacteria.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.