What IS this mysterious white light on Mars? Curiosity catches unusual orbs floating in the landscape
The search for life on other planets has fascinated humanity for decades.
But the reality might look a little less like the Hollywood blockbusters, scientists have revealed.
They say that if there was life on the red planet, it will probably occur as fossilized bacteria – and have suggested a new way to look for it.
Here are the most promising signs of life so far –
When looking for life on Mars, experts agree that water is essential.
Although the planet is now rocky and bare with water trapped in polar caps, there may have been water in the past.
In 2000, scientists first discovered evidence of the existence of water on Mars.
The Nasa Mars Global Surveyor found channels that could have been created by running water.
The debate is ongoing as to whether this recurring slope line (RSL) could have been formed by the water flow.
Earth has been hit by 34 Mars meteorites, three of which are believed to have the potential to bear evidence of past life on the planet, writes Space.com.
In 1996, experts found a meteorite in Antarctica known as ALH 84001 that contained fossilized bacterial formations.
In 2012, however, experts concluded that this organic material was formed by volcanic activity without the involvement of life.
Signs of life
The first close-ups of the planet were made by the Mariner 4 mission of 1964.
These first images showed that Mars has landforms that could have been formed if the climate was much wetter and therefore life was.
The first Viking orbiter was launched in 1975 and, while not convincing, paved the way for other landers.
Many robbers, orbiters and landers have now found evidence of water under the crust and even occasional precipitation.
Earlier this year, Nasa & # 39; s Curiosity Rover found potential building blocks of life in an old Martian lake bottom.
The organic molecules stored in 3.5-billion-year-old rock in Gale Crater – presumably once containing a shallow lake the size of Lake Okeechobee in Florida – suggest that the circumstances at that time were potentially conducive to life.
Future missions to Mars are planning to bring monsters back to Earth to test them more thoroughly.
In 2018, Curiosity also confirmed strong seasonal increases in methane in the atmosphere of Mars.
Experts said the methane observations & # 39; one of the most fascinating & # 39; cases for contemporary life.
The methane measurements of curiosity took place during four and a half earth years and cover parts of three Mars years.
Seasonal peaks were discovered in the late summer in the northern hemisphere and in late winter in the southern hemisphere.
The size of these seasonal peaks – by a factor of three – was much more than scientists expected.
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