May 4, 2011
New Evidence Points To Primordial Life On Mars
A new isotopic analysis of meteorites that have been in storage on Earth for quite some time points to a very reasonable scientific conclusion that Mars once had sea beds that were warm, wet and rich in organic chemicals.
Dr. John Brandenburg, a former scientist at the Florida Space Institute-University of Central Florida, Kennedy Space Center, says that the meteorites he analyzed, come from rocks in the southern hemisphere of part of Mars. The rocks are 4.5 Billion years old, the same age as ALH84001, which was found in Antarctica in 1984.Brandenburg says "What we have here is basically oil shale from Mars. They are basically very similar to common oil shale you find on earth. This indicates a large planetary seabed that was formed under atmospheric conditions, that was warm, wet and rich in organics."
His new paper titled "The CI Carbonaceous Chondrites as the Missing Old Meteorites of Mars" was published this week in The Journal of Cosmology.
The rocks he analyzed are the same rocks that scientist Richard Hoover found microalgae in two months ago. They have identical oxygen and chromium isotopes as other Mars meteorites.
Dr. David McKay, chief of astrobiology at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston said, "If verified, CI being from Mars would confirm that early Mars was warm wet and rich in organic matter, the conditions for life."
"It's ironic", Brandenburg says. "The CI samples have sat in museums for decades, often stored within a few feet of the recognized mars meteorites. They've awaited advances in isotopic and chemical testing to identify their origin."
On the Net: