Over the years scientists have been actively pursuing the idea of finding life on other planets. There is a big universe out there and it is not inconceivable to believe that perhaps life either exists, or once existed on another planet.
Scientists have not found the evidence they have searched for, however by using special instruments experts have located what they think may be a good place to search for any potential fossilized remains on Mars. A study is planned to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
The area on Mars being examined is called Nili Fossae, a valley area embedded into the prehistoric crust of Mars, which possesses clay mineral-rich rocks. Scientists feel this section of Mars may be a primary place to search for fossils of Martian life. To aid in their research, scientists used an instrument on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to study the rocks on the planet’s surface; the rocks are believed to be “leftover from ancient red planet era known as the Noachian period” (Space.com via MSNBC).
While the feeling seems to be that it is possible life may have existed on Mars 4 billion years ago, scientists are also clear in stating there is no actual evidence at this point to indicate any previous life. At this point what is being said is Nili Fossae may have been habitable at one point due to climate conditions.
Scientists have discovered that Nili Fossae shares similar environmental attributes as the East Pilbara region located in Australia.
Adrian Brown, a scientist at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), stated “In the article, we discuss the potential of the Archean volcanic of the East Pilbara region of Western Australia as an analog for the Noachian Nili Fossae on Mars. They indicate that biomarkers or evidence of living organisms, if produced at Nili, could have been preserved, as they have been in the North Pole Dome region of the Pilbara craton.” (Space.com via MSNBC)
Scientists believe the Nili Fossae and East Pilbara regions may contain very similar geological makeup. This indicates the conditions on Mars may yield the same kind of fossil preservation that is capable in East Pilbara, as prehistoric evidence has been found beneath the soil in this Australian region.
While science may not yet be able to pinpoint life in any locations in outer space, technology has grown enough where the possibility of finding such evidence may be coming closer. Using specialized tools and instruments scientists are now able to recognize signs of life if they are present (Space.com).