“No smoking gun,” but new compelling evidence of extinct life on Mars

A big frakking deal:

Compelling new data that chemical and fossil evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars was carried to Earth in a Martian meteorite is being elevated to a higher plane by the same NASA team which made the initial discovery 13 years ago.

Sources tell Spaceflight Now that the new data are providing a powerful new case for the Allen Hills Meteorite to have carried strong evidence of Martian life to Earth — evidence that is increasingly standing up to scrutiny as new analytical tools are used to examine the specimen.

The latest findings are the product of new research using more advanced High Resolution Electron Microscopy than was in existence when the initial findings were made and announced by NASA and the White House in 1996. Those laboratory sensors are being focused directly on carbonate discs and associated tiny magnetite crystals present inside the meteorite Allen Hills ALH 84001…[M]ore detailed data on magnetite crystals and carbonate discs now available largely counter a wide range of opposing theories as to why the finding should not be supported as biological in origin.

The new work centers on so-called magnetic bacteria that on Earth, and apparently Mars as well, leave distinctively-shaped remnants in the rock. In addition the features test with a high chemical purity more like a biological feature than geological.

These are just like the magnetite-related life forms found in the meteorite believed to represent Martian life forms, says Dr. Dennis Bazylinski, who peer reviewed the new findings. He also studies such Earth life forms in his laboratory at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Impossible Question Wednesday: If life on another planet wouldn’t be the most significant discovery since Wallace and Darwin cracked natural selection or Einstein described relativity, what would be?

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One Response

  1. double sliced bread?

    seriously i have no idea, life on another planet would be indescribably awesome

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