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Friday, 23 September 2016

‘Mars-quakes’ can generate tiny microbes – hope of life in neighbouring planet

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It is not new that NASA along with other space explorers has been looking for life apart from Earth. In our solar system we often look for the possibility of life in the neighbouring planet Mars. Ancient rocks from Western Isles recently have paved a new clue that Mars could potentially support life.

In a research teamed from Scotland, Canada and US analyzed the samples from Barra and Uists as a part of their project to determine whether hydrogen was generated after earthquakes.

Hydrogen is an essential element to support life and researchers proposed this theory where hydrogen could be formed by ‘Marsquakes’. The study was published in the journal Astrobiology, was led by scientists from University of Aberdeen along with colleagues working from Yale University and Brock University.

The research was carried out in advance to NASA’s Mars Mission 2018 that would look for seismic activity on planet. Now it is hoped that conclusions drawn from Aberdeen researchers would be useful to support NASA’s expedition.

Professor John Parnell from University of Aberdeen School of Geosciences said that “Hydrogen is a fuel for simple microbes, so microbes could live off hydrogen created in the Earth’s subsurface as a result of seismic activity.”  He also added “Our analysis finds that conservative estimates of current seismic activity on Mars predict hydrogen generation that would be useful to microbes, which adds strength to the possibility of suitable habitats that could support life in the Martian sub-surface.”


Source: The Scotsman
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