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.

Comments

  1. MAJeff says

    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.

  2. BygoneInBiloxi says

    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?

  3. BygoneInBiloxi says

    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?

  4. Gusty says

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