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Mars Earth Science

Mars-Like Conditions Sufficient to Sustain Earth-Bound Microbes 78

skade88 writes "Does life exist on Mars? We might assume if there ever was life on Mars then it most likely came about when Mars was a wetter and warmer place than it is now. So the question is, if life did exist on Mars in the past, does it still exist? Ars takes a look at how microbes have survived on Earth in environmental conditions much like we currently see on Mars."
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Mars-Like Conditions Sufficient to Sustain Earth-Bound Microbes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @12:37PM (#42404349)

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that because these microbes can suvive in Mars-analogue conditions that Mars is or was "Earth like". Like the authors and some other commenters have pointed out, these experiments covered low temperature, low pressure and low oxygen/high carbon dioxide, but didn't account for things like solar radiation or the chemical makeup of the soil. I'm not saying they're crap, but everyone agrees that they're partial and preliminary.

    Besides, from what little I know of planet formation, Mars lost its atmosphere because its core cooled faster and when the magnetosphere was lost so was the atmosphere, which led to the cold and barren surface forming. I guess the same will theoretically happen to the earth one day but I'd guess that's on a similar timescale to "eath gets devoured by an expanding sun".

  • by Thiez ( 1281866 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @12:53PM (#42404479)

    Nope, we're going to burn instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun#Earth.27s_fate [wikipedia.org]

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll