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But no life on Mars?  A new study refutes the thesis about the Martian meteorite

But no life on Mars? A new study refutes the thesis about the Martian meteorite

A four-billion-year-old Martian meteorite weighing two kilograms was found in Antarctica in 1984. When researchers examined it, they found carbon on it. Indicative of life, it was said at the time. However, thanks to a new study, there is now a more plausible explanation for this.

Life on Mars has long been suspected (Iconic Image: Getty Images)

In 1996, a NASA research team saw a major breakthrough: the 2-kg Allan Hills 84001 meteor, which dates back to the early days of Mars and was found in Antarctica decades ago, should finally provide humanity with certainty about life beyond Planet Earth. But the thesis from that time, which could not convince everyone, is now refuted by a team of scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Study lead author Andrew Steele explained that the small rock samples from the meteorite show that the carbon in it is not indicative of ancient life on Mars, but rather the result of a prolonged salt water flow over the rocks. From the journal “Science”.

According to scientists, the groundwater that seeped through cracks in the rock while it was on Mars formed the tiny clumps of carbon on it today. The same is possible on Earth and could help explain why methane is in the Martian atmosphere.

Already in 1996 there were doubts about the thesis

Two scientists who studied the Martian meteorite in 1996 described the latest results as “disappointing.” “While the data presented tells us something more about the meteorite, the explanation is not new and is not supported by research,” Astromaterials researchers at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Cathy Thomas Kiberta and Simon Klemett wrote in an email. It is unfounded speculation and does not help solve the mystery of the origin of the meteorite’s organic matter.

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According to Steele, his team owes the latest results to technological advances. They were going to present the results for what they are: a very exciting discovery about Mars rather than a study to refute the original thesis. In his opinion, the only way to prove the existence of life on Mars is to bring samples from there to Earth and examine them. The persistent Mars rover has taken six such samples and will return them to Earth within a decade; Thirty of these exercises are planned.

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