Could there be Life on Mars

The planet Mars has the climate best suited for life than any of the other nine planets of the solar system. It is thought that the climate on Mars has cooled recently. Channels have been found on Mars that give evidence that water probably existed on Mars many years ago. The canals claimed to exist on Mars several years ago might be these channels.  

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) took pictures while orbiting the planet that give strong evidence that there is water on Mars. Slopes across the southern hemisphere were found that increase during the warm summer on Mars and decrease during the cold winter on Mars.

The satellites Opportunity and Spirit were sent to Mars to search for signs of extraterrestrial life. It is highly possible that there is water on Mars according to the evidence of sulphates on Mars that was found. And water is one of the requirements for life to exist.

In 1984 the meteorite ALH84001 found in Allan Hills Antarctica might be from Mars. It is an igneous rock about the size of a softball that weighs 4.2 pounds. It is estimated to be 4.6 billion years old based on isotopes. This means it existed when Mars was only 100 million years old. Between 3.6 billion years and 4 billion years the rock might have been bombarded by meteorite impacts. It is thought that water might have entered the rock and harbored primitive bacteria. The theory is that this bacteria became fossilized. Cosmic ray exposure gives evidence that the rock was thrown into outer space when a giant meteorite hit Mars 16 million years ago. And the rock might have hit Antarctica 13,000 years ago.

There are eleven meteorites just like ALH84001 to make a total of twelve, but they are less than 1.3 billion years old. The Viking Landers gave data for the atmosphere of Mars that is similar to gas bubbles trapped in the meteorites ALH84001 and EETA79001. The meteorites were found to have polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which micro organisms break down into when they die. Electron microscopy has found what might be fossils of very small bacteria twenty to one hundred nanometers.

The satellite Science Laboratory Curiosity will land on Mars in Gale Crater. It will search for signs of water and the possibility of life. It is expected to land on Mars in 201 days as of January 17, 2012. It is about the size of a small SUV. It has the ability to climb steep hills.    

On March 3, 2010, a NASA photo taken of what could be a gorilla was released in an article of the online version of the magazine “The Sun” by Rob Singh.