A recent study published in February’s issue of the journal Astrobiology has a surprising theory suggesting biological processes might have been at work on the Red Planet.
A research team claims that on the Martian meteorite Yamato 000593 there is evidence of ancient microscopic life forms who inhabited in the past the red planet. On this rock it were observed microscopic tunnels and spherules that were dug, long time ago, by microorganisms who lived on Mars.
The study authors(Lauren White, Everett Gibson, Kathie Thomas-Keprta, Simon Clemett and David McKay) cann’t completely exclude the option that the micro-tunnels have been created by abiotic activity.
The new theory is already highly debated in the scientific community. 18 years ago, other researchers announced they had found evidence of life forms on other Martian meteorite Alan Hills 84001 (ALH84001). Then, many scientists have argued that they had abiotic origin.
The research team will continue to analyze the meteorite Yamato 000593 within 13.5 kg, it was formed on Mars about 1.3 billion years ago and blasted into space by a cosmic impact and fell to Earth, landed in Antarctica 10,000 years ago. Yamato 000593 was discovered in 2000 by a team of Japanese researchers.
Currently, the rover Curiosity is on Mars, seeks evidence of the presence of organic carbon. But it is also essential that scientists can take soil samples to analyze back on Earth, using precise instruments so that the results will be accurate.
“That could only happen over decades, so, until then, Martian meteorites are the best option for research”, says Gibson.