Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Life Forms May Have Evolved In Ancient Hot Springs On Mars

Date:
February 21, 2009
Source:
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Summary:
Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest the discovery of ancient springs in the Vernal Crater, sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars, according to a report in Astrobiology.

Potential spring-related structures in Vernal Crater on Mars. From an image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) suggest the discovery of ancient springs in the Vernal Crater, sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars, according to a new report.

Hot springs have great astrobiological significance, as the closest relatives of many of the most ancient organisms on Earth can thrive in and around hydrothermal springs. If life forms have ever been present on Mars, hot spring deposits would be ideal locations to search for physical or chemical evidence of these organisms and could be target areas for future exploratory missions.

Carlton C. Allen and Dorothy Z. Oehler, from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, propose that new image data from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on MRO depict structures in Vernal Crater that appear to have arisen as part of a major area of ancient spring activity. The data suggest that the southern part of Vernal Crater has experienced episodes of water flow from underground to the surface and may be a site where martian life could have developed.

"Hot spring deposits are key target areas for future Mars missions," says Sherry L. Cady, PhD, Editor of Astrobiology and Associate Professor in the Department of Geology at Portland State University.

"Such deposits on Earth preserve evidence of the fossilized remains of the microbial communities that inhabited the hot springs over a wide range of spatial scales. The potential to find key evidence indicative of life––biofabrics, microbial remains, chemical fossils in minerals––is high when sedimentary deposits form from hydrothermal fluids. Hot spring fluids are typically laden with dissolved mineral ions that, when they precipitate out and create the hydrothermal deposit, enhance fossilization of all types of biosignatures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carlton C. Allen and Dorothy Z. Oehler. A Case for Ancient Springs in Arabia Terra, Mars. Astrobiology, 2008; 8 (6): 1093 DOI: 10.1089/ast.2008.0239

Cite This Page:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Life Forms May Have Evolved In Ancient Hot Springs On Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112829.htm>.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. (2009, February 21). Life Forms May Have Evolved In Ancient Hot Springs On Mars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112829.htm
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Life Forms May Have Evolved In Ancient Hot Springs On Mars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112829.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins