Evidence of life on Mars has been 'erased', says NASA scientists

NASA scientists have said that evidence of life existing on Mars has been 'erased' after Curiosity looked at Mars' rock record.

1 minute & 7 seconds read time

NASA's rovers are scouring the surface of Mars for any signs of past life, but according to NASA scientists, signs of life have been "erased".

Evidence of life on Mars has been 'erased', says NASA scientists 02

NASA's Curiosity rover has been exploring the Gale Crater for quite some time now in an attempt to gain knowledge on the history of the planet's environmental conditions. Researchers know that the crater has been dried out for billions of years, but recently Curiosity compared samples from two areas that are 400 meters apart. The researchers were surprised to find one of the samples had half the amount of clay minerals than the other, and instead held mudstones rich with iron oxides (Mars' red color).

Tom Bristow, CheMin principal investigator at Nasa's Ames Research Center, said, "We used to think that once these layers of clay minerals formed at the bottom of the lake in Gale Crater, they stayed that way, preserving the moment in time they formed for billions of years. But later brines [very salty water] broke down these clay minerals in some places - essentially resetting the rock record."

Researchers believe this rock history gives us an idea of the climate on the Red Planet, even though it is, unfortunately, "erasing" any signs of past life. John Grotzinger, CheMin co-investigator at the California Institute of Technology, said, "These are excellent places to look for evidence of ancient life and gauge habitability. Even though diagenesis may erase the signs of life in the original lake, it creates the chemical gradients necessary to support subsurface life, so we are really excited to have discovered this."

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NEWS SOURCE:independent.co.uk

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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