A new study suggests that a subsurface layer of Mars may be where to search for the existence of present-day life on Earth.
The Mars’ meteorites were examined in the journal “Astrobiology” Analysis determined that if the rocks are connected to water, they will generate the necessary nutrients for microbial communities to thrive. The findings show that much of the subsurface of Mars may be habitable
The results here are significant for subsurface science, says Jesse Tarnas, who conducted his Ph.D. at Brown University as a NASA JPL post-funded researcher. It’s unknown whether life has ever existed on Mars, but if it did, we believe it has been able to survive up to the present day.
Recent surveys have discovered that the existence of a vast biome that is distinct from the one on the surface. These creatures survive by the byproducts of chemical reactions in the absence of sunlight.
The other is hydrolysis, which happens when radioactive elements become dissolved in rock pores and fractures. The element must be broken down into two parts, hydrogen and oxygen. minerals like pyrite (fool’s gold) are dissolved in the still-freedened hydrogen and then use the hydrogen dissolved in the sulphates to burn the microbes
More than a billion years ago, microbial life was found in places such as Canada’s Kidd Creek Mine. Tarn and Lollar of Brown University have collaborated on this project with a professor from the University of Toronto to search for similar underground habitats on Mars. It isThis project is being funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
To determine if there is a place on Mars where the results of radiolysis can be obtained. They used data from NASA’s Curiosity and other orbiting spacecraft as well as well as the composition of Martian meteorites.
They were looking for thorium, uranium, and potassium sulphide minerals, which they hypothesised might be able to radiolysis. The research found that all the key ingredients for an Earth-like habitat exist in various kinds of Martian meteorites. Most primitive meteorites, those found on Earth’s crustal rock, demonstrated the greatest life-supportingredients potential Unlike Earth, the crust of Mars lacks a tectonic recycling process. They have remained untouched by time
The results support a prospecting programme that is search for evidence of extant life in the subsurface of Mars. Before, it was found that there was good evidence of an active water on Mars, the researchers hypothesised that it could be present. One recent study speculated that a subsurface lake could exist in the planet’s southern hemisphere. It appears to be energy and life in groundwater.”
Tarnas and Mustard believe that while there are certainly many technical challenges to subsurface exploration, it can be done. Recent developments in smaller drill probes will allow Mars’ depths to be reached.
“The subsurface is among the frontiers in Mars exploration” “We’ve studied the planet with a variety of light wavelengths and are now in half a dozen locations on the surface. But if we want to think about the future, the in-depth is all the main issue.”
Journal Reference: J.D. Tarnas, J.F. Mustard, B. Sherwood Lollar, V. Stamenković, K.M. Cannon, J.-P. Lorand, T.C. Onstott, J.R. Michalski, O. Warr, A.M. Palumbo, A.-C. Plesa. Earth-like Habitable Environments in the Subsurface of Mars. Astrobiology, 2021; DOI: 10.1089/ast.2020.2386