16 February 2008

No life on Mars after all?

Mars was too salty to sustain life for much of its history, according to evidence gathered by the NASA Opportunity rover. High concentration of minerals in water on early Mars would have made it inhospitable to even the toughest microbes, a leading Nasa expert says.


Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, Dr Andrew Knoll, a member of the rover science team he said conditions on Mars in the past four billion years would have been very challenging for life. "It was really salty - in fact, it was salty enough that only a handful of known terrestrial organisms would have a ghost of a chance of surviving there when conditions were at their best," he explained.


Ah well, so no little green men. Perhaps we should settle for little green extremophiles instead?

8 comments:

Roger B. said...

Little green men with really high blood pressure?

beakerkin said...

Has anyone told Uncle Martin? Of course My Favourite Martian should be required viewing.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Roger!

I don't think that was ever shown here you know Beakerkin

Sean Jeating said...

Good proposal, Jams. :) Personally, I'd feel better to know them in another galaxy. Thinking of M51, 23 million light years from earth. :)

The Lone Beader said...

Aha! So that's why the aliens are coming to Planet Earth! They're thirsty, and so they need to borrow some of our water! And, I thought the Earth's fresh water supply was diminishing due to the human-caused global warming.... Who knew? :0

jams o donnell said...

Ah Sean I wonder what life abounds so far from earth. Not that we will ever see it though...


You've got it LB... the marians are back and this time they're thirsty!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

That sounds like a perfect habitat to stick a race of Potato Head people!

jams o donnell said...

especially if already fried. All you need is the vinegar and the ketchup!