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Scientists have discovered on Mars a salty water flows - life on Mars is possible! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 August 2011 09:12

A research team, led by Alfred McEwan from the University of Arizona, studying pictures from Mars automatic station Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), found a strange dark stripes on the slopes of some mountains on Mars (see a photo). A detailed study found, that the width of these dark stripes can reach up to 5 meters, also found, that these dark stripes appear in the spring with increasing temperature and disappear in winter, the temperature is lowered to the Martian surface.

Such a frequency of occurrence of these dark stripes made it possible to assume that these dark stripes represent the flows of highly saline water on the slopes of the Martian mountains. It was salt water, or fresh water could not be in the liquid phase in sub-zero temperatures on the surface of Mars. One researcher, by analogy with Earth, is also confident, that these dark lines represent streams flowing from the slopes of mountains on Mars.

According to scientists, this hypothesis flows of salt water best explains the origin of many of these dark stripes, periodically lengthened by a few hundred meters. However, due to the fact, that previously the spectrometer did not detect the presence of water on the Martian surface, it may be that the dark stripes are dust particles, that rise from the surface of some underground movement, as the source of which involve underground flows.

This discovery has attracted the attention of scientists around the world. Geophysicist Philip Christensen from Arizona State University today at a press conference of NASA said: "This new discovery is so interesting because of the fact, that these dark stripes are observed on the slopes of Martian hills, located at lower latitudes, where the surface temperature of Mars is much higher , so the liquid flows of salt water can actually exist there. "And biogeochemist Lisa Pratt from Indiana University said:" I think because of this discovery, in preparation for future missions to Mars, must include in their job search features of biological life on Mars ".

According to Lisa Pratt, conditions on Mars are very similar to conditions in Antarctica and in areas of permafrost in Siberia. And as know, in 1979 in Antarctica were discovered microorganisms that exist quietly at low temperatures. Cyanobacteria have even been found in Antarctica at a depth of nearly four km. And all of these organisms were alive and in the permafrost in Siberia was marked by their metabolism at low temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius. However, it was discovered and the problem caused by the fact, that the detected bacteria resistant to different freeze, but that their growth is very slow. It was established, that it was caused by the passage of water from liquid to solid at these low temperatures, because of this overlap in the cells of microorganisms channels for transport of substances, so all these organisms at temperatures below - 20 degrees Celsius were dormant.

According to one version, the microorganisms in the state of anabiosis could not be any chemical reactions. Scientists believe that the DNA of living organisms capable of transmission is unlikely to exceed a few hundred years. It should also be noted, that the information in DNA is constantly changing and if we take into account the average rate of change of this information, then a thoUSAnd years in the chromosome of microorganisms almost every gene must undergo a change, and in a million years from the initial genetic composition of microorganisms will have no previous . These findings support the study of ancient DNA in amber of insects and other organisms as a result of these studies found that the DNA of these ancient insects is always fragmented and partially destroyed. Thus, the scientists show, that even small fragments of DNA of microorganisms can survive no more than 10 000 years in normal climate and up to 100 thoUSAnd years in areas with cold climates.

The discovery of the laws of life living organisms on Earth is of great importance for studying signs of life on Mars- if in Mars at low temperatures, are found living relic Martian organisms, these organisms will not be a frozen remains of the old Martian organisms, lay on the Mars millions of years, and these organisms must be part of a wider diversity of species of life on Mars, as on Earth, it was proved the impossibility of long-term viability of microorganisms for many thoUSAnds of years, and for such a long time, strong radiation on Mars should in any case lead to a variety of DNA mutations of Martian microbes, making it quite possible the discovery of more complex forms of life on Mars. Probably, these life forms can be opened under the Martian surface, where temperatures are much higher and there are no sudden changes in her. On our website we have already reported about the discovery on Earth, at depths greater than 1 kilometer, the presence of the simplest forms of worms, so if confirmed the presence of water on Mars, the discovery of signs of biological life on Mars will be only a matter of time.


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