A new study claims that bacteria traces found in a Martian meteor prove that life could survive on Mars. In 1996, NASA released a similar study, which noted that strands of bacteria were spotted in samples from an asteroid named ALH 84001.
A team of Hungarian researchers surveyed samples from a meteorite classified under the name of ALH-77005 and argued that it managed to identify several biosignatures. The team used advanced imaging techniques to scan the samples and identified textures and features that are linked to organisms.
The rock samples were analyzed with the help of high-power optical microscopes and infrared devices as the scientists aimed to learn more about the meteor. Minerals and other materials were collected and underwent isotope tests, in a bid to discover elements which are essential for life. Microscopic filaments detected during the tests infer the presence of a special type of bacteria which can withstand harsh conditions and consumes iron oxides.
A meteorite from Mars showed traces of bacteria, suggesting that life on Mars could have been possible in the past
In 1996 NASA researchers argued that they were able to identify traces of microbial life in the ALH 84001 meteorite. The agency claimed that they were spotted as strands and filaments, noting that the rock formed more than 4 billion years ago and reached Earth almost 13,000 years ago.
The announcement sparked the interest of the scientific community, and president Bill Clinton congratulated the researchers for their achievement. During that time the technology which can be used to now to test such claims didn’t exist, and it was impossible to say if the arguments were valid.
A Hungarian researcher who participated in the new study noted that the recent results were compared with the data obtained from other meteorites and it appears that the presence of the biosignatures reinforce the claim that some forms of life could be found on Mars. Many researchers continue to believe that the conditions encountered on the surface of the Red Planet are too harsh for any life forms. The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca