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Life on Mars?

Martiansunset

Above, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit snapped this gorgeous shot of a Martian sunset as the sun sank below Gusev crater on May 19, 2005.

Scientists say methane bursts emanating from the red planet may be signs of microbiotic life below the Martian surface:

"Pockets of methane might have been produced long ago by the interaction of water and volcanic rock below the Martian surface. But the gas might also be produced by microbes that thrive below the inhospitable Martian surface, where there may be liquid water. Such organisms might be similar to those seen kilometres below the surface of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa, where life has survived without the Sun for millions of years, the team says. There, radioactivity breaks apart water, and microbes use the resulting hydrogen to process carbon dioxide and make methane. 'Whatever the source, it indicates the presence of liquid water underground, and that there is some type of activity going on - biologic or geologic, and that is exciting,' says Atreya."

Oh, c'mon. Microbes? you know it's our old friend.

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Comments

  1. A strangely moving sunset once you know the setting. Love the APOD website: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

    Posted by: ButchSF | Jan 16, 2009 5:36:59 PM


  2. Man, I guess the one thing common to all life is flatulence.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jan 16, 2009 9:31:26 PM


  3. I love these images from Mars. This one, in particular, actually made me weep (yeah, getting all emotional while totally geeking out):

    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/230214main_PHX_Lander.jpg

    It may seem like nothing at all, but it's an image of the Mars Rover parachuting to the surface of the planet, and the photo was taken by the Mars Orbiter. It was just so amazing that we were taking a picture of our own work from another planet. We're amazing, and yet we're so insignificant. It can be a bit overwhelming.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Jan 16, 2009 9:53:22 PM


  4. So this is the first photo of a Martian microbe fart, is that what you're trying to say?
    You're going to hurt yourself, bending over backwards like that.
    Anybody got a match?

    Posted by: BygoneInBiloxi | Jan 16, 2009 10:31:45 PM


  5. So this is the first photo of a Martian microbe fart, is that what you're trying to say?
    You're going to hurt yourself, bending over backwards like that.
    Anybody got a match?

    Posted by: BygoneInBiloxi | Jan 16, 2009 10:32:50 PM


  6. all this picture needs is a young orphan boy living on his uncles moisture farm pinning for adventure.

    Posted by: Gusty | Jan 17, 2009 11:19:10 AM


  7. why do youse guys need to be so cynical? i'm w/MAJEFF on this.

    Posted by: nic | Jan 17, 2009 7:31:40 PM


  8. "im calling 911. your in big trouble.."

    Posted by: * | Jan 18, 2009 1:40:50 AM


  9. Where's my weekend update?

    Posted by: dude | Jan 18, 2009 2:35:29 AM


  10. i'm with YEEK -- life stinks!

    Posted by: David B. | Jan 19, 2009 4:01:06 PM


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