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Life on Mars:

It seems there is life on Mars if you agree with the article from August 16, in 'Science'. This article is signed by a group of 9 scientists of the Stanford University, NASA Houston, Lockheed Martin, McGill University and University of Georgia (USA). These scientists studied the Martian meteorite ALH84001, found in 1984 in the Antarctic Their first task was to demonstrate that the meteorite is indeed originating from Mars. The demonstration of its origin has been established and the results of the study were published in the Meteorics magazine.

Life signs?

Fossil traces of past life inside Martian meteorite:

Was there life on Mars?

According to the authors of the 'Science' article [1], the evidence detected are compatible with the existence of life on Mars. Here is a summary of the conclusions they made:

  1. observation of mineral deposits that could results from biogenic activity,
  2. observation of carbonate chondrites younger than the rock itself,
  3. images, taken from electronic microscope, of microorganism look alike,
  4. observation of magnetite and iron sulfite similar to those found as result of terrestrial microbial systems,
  5. observation of hydrocarbonate composites associated to mineral surfaces rich in carbonate globules.

The authors concluded, with a lot of precautions:

"In spite of alternate possible explanation for each of the separates phenomenon, it is obvious that if you look at it as a whole, taking in account their typical spatial placement, we must conclude that they is proof that a certain type of primitive life existed on Mars at least in its past."

Here is the marvelous information we hoped for a long time:

"We are not alone in the universe!" We must of course be careful; as we all know that scientists are occasionally wrong.

But let's not forget another important fact: the scientist who devised the life detection experiment aboard the Viking Lander, to detect if there is life or not on Mars in the present times concludes now, because of these new elements of information: yes, there is life on Mars... at this very moment!.

The debate is not closed, but the meteorite still stands firm.

References in the Press:

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This page was last updated on March 23, 2001.