Mars is one of the most interesting objects from our Earth’s cosmic vicinity. Furthermore, from all of the planets and the moons in our solar system besides Earth, the Red Planet is our best candidate for its potential of hosting life.
But there’s a good chance that the Red Planet should have been called the ‘Blue Planet’ long ago, if there were any conscious and intelligent beings around. This is the conclusion made by a team of researchers from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
A Martian meteorite sheds light
The Martian meteorite known as ALH 84001 and found in Antarctica in 1984 allowed the scientists to find on it organic molecules that contain nitrogen. This offers a huge hint that long ago, Mars was totally different than nowadays.
The researchers involved said:
Because carbonate minerals typically precipitate from the groundwater, this finding suggests a wet and organic-rich early Mars, which could have been habitable and favorable for life to start,
Early Mars may have been more ‘Earth-like’, less oxidizing, wetter, and organic-rich. Perhaps it was ‘blue’.
The scientists are uncertain about the origin of the nitrogen-containing organics. There are two scenarios: either the organics were belonging from outside Mars, or they formed on our neighboring planet.
People had been wondering for centuries if there are any life forms dwelling on the Red Planet, and the new results found can also shed some light for the possibility of the development of life on Mars. Liquid water is a key component for life as we know it, and if the Red Planet really had much more water than we know, you can guess for yourself how great the chances are for the planet to ever host life.
The new findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.