Is there more potential for life on Mars?
In recent years, no planet has inspired more hope or potential for extraterrestrial life than Earth’s closest neighbor, Mars.
While the idea of life on Mars is far from a new one, there have recently been various missions to the red planet plotted and launched.
Seemingly for centuries humankind has looked towards the Red planet as a home for life, but with rovers scooting around Mars - and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Telsa Roadster on its way - there have been some discoveries that make these dreams a little closer to potential realities.
Recently, NASA’s rover have sent back photos of impressions on rocks that look a lot like fossils that have been discovered and studied on Earth. This is a huge step for the search for life on Mars.
The photos were snapped by Curiosity, and could show a trace fossil, according to researchers.
One researcher, who has worked on many papers about Mars, Barry DiGregorio, says that the images bare similarities to Ordovician trace fossils. DiGregorio is a research fellow at Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, in the U.K.
Scientists working on the Curiosity project say that the images are very small, and were first captured in black and white, but were interesting enough to send Curiosity back over them to take photos with the MAHLI camera - a focusable colour camera mounted on the rover.
Curiosity scientists say that the images may show trace fossils, but they are not going to jump to that as their first interpretation.
With many of the teams involved with Curiosity inspecting the images, it is easy to say that these potentially impactful finds have piqued the curiosity of the team.
While a strictly mineral origin is the most plausible cause of the wiggly sticks photographed, they are not ruling out bioturbation.
Bioturbation is the process that happens when living organisms in sediment disturb the structure of the sediment.