Geologists: Mars Can Potentially Support Life

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Mars may contain habitats that can potentially support life, NASA-sponsored geologists at the University of Aberdeen announced Friday.

Geologists found that hydrogen, a critical component necessary to support life, can be produced by earthquakes on Earth. They concluded that the same kind of “Marsquakes” could produce hydrogen on Mars, removing a major barrier to life.

“Our analysis finds that conservative estimates of current seismic activity on Mars predict hydrogen generation that would be useful to microbes, which adds strength to the possibility of suitable habitats that could support life in the Martian sub-surface,” John Parnell, a professor of geoscience at the University of Aberdeen, said in a press statement. “Hydrogen is a fuel for simple microbes, so microbes could live off hydrogen created in the Earth’s subsurface as a result of seismic activity.

Hydrogen is an extremely important element for life and earthquakes may be the only source of it on Mars. The Red Planet’s atmosphere is rich in oxygen, so an ample supply of hydrogen could mean that water is more common on Mars than generally believed.

Parnell and other scientists from Yale University and Brock University made the discovery when examining Mars-like rocks on Earth in preparation for an unmanned NASA mission to Mars in 2018. Their research was financially supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

“This is a model that could apply to any other rocky planet, and on Mars there are so-called ‘Marsquakes’ that may produce hydrogen and therefore could feed life in the Martian sub-surface,” Parnell continued. “NASA has plans to measure seismic activity on Mars during its 2018 InSight mission, and our data will make those measurements all the more interesting.”

This isn’t the first time this year scientists have made a huge leap forward in the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI.)

Astronomers gleefully announced the discovery of a potential “second Earth” in August after finding a slight “wobble” of gravity tugging on the star Proxima Centauri. Scientists speculated to The Daily Caller News Foundation that the planet could potentially support life as the planet is in the “Goldilocks Zone,” the region around a star that has just the right conditions to find liquid water on a planet’s surface.

Technologically advanced alien civilizations almost certainly exist according astronomers. A study estimates that the odds of humanity being the only civilization in the universe are less than one chance in about “10 billion trillion.” The study estimates there have been roughly 10 billion alien civilizations in the history of the universe.

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