New discoveries are once again defining how Mars has developed as a planet and how these developments may have affected the origins and evolution of its potential inhabitants. B.C shall, once again, travel through the space to our neighbouring planet where analysis of its geology, reveals some surprising facts about where Martian life could have arisen from inert chemicals.
For abiogenesis to occur, the right conditions and elements have to be present. There has to be an abundant energy source, which can be anything from volcanic heat, lightning to the powerful radiation emitted by the sun; and there has to be a high concentration of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus.
Many creation myths detail the first humans as constructed from clay. Yet this story is more accurate than one might think because these elements are often locked up in minerals which are particularly abundant in mud and clay. This will be affected by a planet's geology. In light of this, a team of scientists from Brown University used satellite images taken by the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft to find lakes, where water once rushed in as well as out.
|The satellite images of the lakes|
Yet it does not necessarily rule out the possibility that life did once exist on Mars. The lakes, found in the Nili Fossae region had very thick layers of sediment. Erosion revealed crusts as old as 4.1 billion years, showing that clay depositions, while not on a global scale, were present and had occured in the same area for a long period of time. The placement of these clay lakes narrows down the places where we might find Martian fossils or even life itself. Until humans reach the Red Planet, the theory remains just that, a theory. So for the moment we can only echo David Bowie's words: 'is there life on Mars?'