- Scientists now believe that meteorites on the surface of Mars could contain evidence of alien life.
- Fossilized evidence and chemical signatures of alien life may have been preserved in these meteorites.
- Read more news about aliens here.
Scientists at Monash University, University of Queensland and Australian National University in Australia believe that it could be possible for alien life to have been preserved in meteorites on the surface of Mars, according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Microbiology.
While studying seven meteorites found on the Nullarbor plain in southern Australia, the researchers discovered that all of the space rocks contained evidence of fossilized microorganisms, reports New Scientist.
Some of the meteorites that were studied landed on Earth up to 40,000 years ago and all of them experienced rapid contamination by microbes. The scientists believe that the same thing could have occurred with meteorites on Mars.
“This is an original finding and it is important because it shows us that microorganisms can interact with astro-materials in a way that is vital to their metabolism,” said Dr. Alastair Tait from Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment.
About 3 billion years ago, Mars may have had the necessary conditions for life, including a thicker atmosphere and liquid water on its surface. Tait says that any meteorites that fell on Mars before or during this period, in a habitable location, could have been contaminated by Martian life in the same way meteorites falling to Earth become contaminated by terrestrial life. “They would have essentially been a time capsule,” he says.
Meteorites on Mars may contain chemical signatures that reveal signs of alien life
“By studying how meteorites on Earth are altered by weathering and microbial activity, it may help to know what chemical signatures to look for when we study the same meteorite material that fell on Mars, which could have been weathered and potentially altered by any life there. Looking at meteorite chemistry as an environmental record, and as a potential way to compare processes on Earth and other planets, is a new idea and really exciting,” said Dr. Jessica Hamilton of Monash University.
A previous study revealed an alien biosignature on the planet Venus. Another suggested that a liquid ocean beneath Pluto’s icy surface could be home to alien life. Researchers also have stated that alien life may be found in the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Mars, however, is the only one of these planets with atmospheric conditions that would allow humans to actually visit someday. In addition to the meteorites, scientists are also eager to find out if alien life can be found in a group of underground lakes located 4,600 feet beneath ice near the south pole of Mars.