Friday, December 13, 2013

Ancient Fresh Water Lake On Mars Could Have Sustained Life

Drill hole in an ancient mudstone on Mars. (Credit: Image courtesy of Imperial College London).
Scientists have found evidence that there was once an ancient lake on Mars that may have been able to support life, in research published recently in the journal Science.
The team's analysis showed that the lake was calm and likely had fresh water, containing key biological elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur. Such a lake would provide perfect conditions for simple microbial life such as chemolithoautotrophs to thrive in.
"It is exciting to think that billions of years ago, ancient microbial life may have existed in the lake's calm waters, converting a rich array of elements into energy. The next phase of the mission, where we will be exploring more rocky outcrops on the crater's surface, could hold the key whether life did exist on the red planet." Cited from Science

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