(Submitted December 23, 1996)
Has evidence been found for life on Mars?
We are a center for research in high-energy astrophysics and have no
institutional experience in the search for life in Mars (though back in
1976 I was a student intern with the Viking Project at JPL!). There is a
lot of very good material available on the Internet concerning the recent
discoveries within Martian meteorites of possible evidence for past life on
Mars. A good starting point is:
Although each piece of evidence (morphological, mineralogical, chemical and
isotopic) presented so far can be explained by non-biological as well as
biological processes, their presence in close proximity to each other, and in
two quite different Martian meteorites (the old ALH84001 and the much younger
EETA79001) makes further investigation a clear priority. The two NASA
spacecraft now on route to Mars - Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor -
will prepare the way for future sample return missions. In the meantime, a
lot of work can be done using the Martian meteorites already available.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/snc/ which has links for each
Martian meteorite, as well as to the various
current Mars missions and many news stories concerning the recent discoveries.
As of October, 1998, the evidence against microfossils in AH84001 is now
even stronger, with the discovery that some lunar meteorites have objects
similar to the 'microfossils' found in the Martian meteorite.
Details can be found off the JPL Mars Meteorite Home Page at:
Imagine the Universe!
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