Friday, December 27, 2013

139.6 - And Another Thing #2: Mars was at one time "Earthlike"

And Another Thing #2: Mars was at one time "Earthlike"

The evidence that Mars was once a wet planet where life might have existed keeps on growing.

New analysis of rocks collected by the Curiosity rover reveals that there was once fresh water on Mars, in fact right were Curiosity landed last year.

Researchers believe the dried-up lakebed may have supported colonies of microbes, the same type that now are found in caves and hydrothermal vents on Earth. What’s more, they now have reason to believe that those lifeforms emerged about 3.5 billion years ago - right around the same time life was emerging here.

John P. Grotzinger, the project scientist for the Curiosity mission, said that "All the essential ingredients for life were present." Including time: "The aqueous system could have existed for millions to tens of millions of years," he added.

Put simply, a couple of billion years ago, Mars was, he said, "extremely Earthlike." "It’s kind of cool," he said. I agree.


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