Monday, 6 June 2016

Does Life exist on Mars?

142 million miles away, Mars which has an  average temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, has been speculated to have the existence of life on it. Mars has dark slope streaks, sand dunes, gullies, glaciers and possibly ancient rivers. But the question is, just like our planet Earth, does Mars sustain life? Life can only be possible when it fulfills the basic needs of air, water and soil. It is likely, though not proved  if life ever evolved on Mars. So the scientists all over the globe are working on several Missions in finding out the evidence which may prove the existence of life out there.

Over the past few decades, scientists have revealed that like Earth, Mars has the polar ice caps and clouds in its atmosphere. Mars also has the volcanoes, canyons, and seasonal weather variations. Also, the spacecraft team had addressed that the Mars has a rocky, cold and dry surface along with a hazy and pink sky. Scientists have also found the evidence of the presence of brine water during summer time which is in the liquid state. They observed that the dark marks during summer were supposed to be caused by briny flow.

As known to us, the Mars atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide and water vapor. By the chemical reaction of carbon and water, it forms carbonates mineral on mars surface, and such minerals prove the  point that water has been present there for long. NASA has been looking for life on Mars by searching an evidence using telltale markers, biosignatures of Mars life and they have shown the presence of carbon.“It is also suggested that it is possible for there to be life today on mars” said John Grunsfeld.

Also, scientists believe that microbes are present in the salty water and hence microbes might be present in brine water too or somewhere in the crust of Mars. Scientists also found the structure of nanobacteria on Nakhla meteorite.

Over the last fifty years, scientists have launched several missions for determining the existence of life on it. And they observed that Mars always not a moribund to the world and as said above, these are the evidence to the world that there might be some ice under the surface in many places on Mars and may have magnetic fields. As the data collected by scientists, most  likely they concluded that Red planet may have thicker atmosphere and lakes or oceans.

ISRO had launched its first space probe in September 2014 called Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and also called Mangalyaan. The mission's main objective is to explore the Mars surface by study the morphology, topography, and mineralogy.

NASA, Russia, Europe and many other countries have planned together to discover, whether life exists there or not. Hopefully, we may get an answer to this within the next 10 years.

Written by Radhika Soni
She believes and she visualizes. Loves to take risks and grab on opportunities, curious about technology.

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