dearJulius.com Write For Us

Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life

SHARE:

The new research was made possible by the discovery by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover of manganese oxides (AFP pic)

AFP Relaxnews

Salty water just below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support the kind of microbial life that emerged and flourished on Earth billions of years ago, researchers reported Monday.

In some locations, the amount of oxygen available could even keep alive a primitive, multicellular animal such as a sponge, they reported in the journal Nature Geosciences.

“We discovered that brines” — water with high concentrations of salt — “on Mars can contain enough oxygen for microbes to breathe,” said lead author Vlada Stamenkovic, a theoretical physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

“This fully revolutionises our understanding of the potential for life on Mars, today and in the past,” he told AFP.

Up to now, it had been assumed that the trace amounts of oxygen on Mars were insufficient to sustain even microbial life.

“We never thought that oxygen could play a role for life on Mars due to its rarity in the atmosphere, about 0.14%,” Stamenkovic said.

By comparison, the life-giving gas makes up 21 percent of the air we breathe.

On Earth, aerobic — that is, oxygen breathing — life forms evolved together with photosynthesis, which converts CO2 into O2. The gas played a critical role in the emergence of complex life, notable after the so-called Great Oxygenation Event some 2.35 billion years ago.

But our planet also harbours microbes — at the bottom of the ocean, in boiling hotsprings — that subsist in environments deprived of oxygen.

“That’s why — whenever we thought of life on Mars — we studied the potential for anaerobic life,” Stamenkovic.

Life on Mars?

The new study began with the discovery by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover of manganese oxides, which are chemical compounds that can only be produced with a lot of oxygen.

Curiosity, along with Mars orbiters, also established the presence of brine deposits, with notable variations in the elements they contained.

A high salt content allows for water to remain liquid — a necessary condition for oxygen to be dissolved — at much lower temperatures, making brines a happy place for microbes.

Depending on the region, season and time of day, temperatures on the Red Planet can vary between minus 195 and 20 degrees Celsius (minus 319 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).

The researchers devised a first model to describe how oxygen dissolves in salty water at temperatures below freezing.

A second model estimated climate changes on Mars over the last 20 million years, and over the next 10 million years.

Taken together, the calculations showed which regions on the Red Planet are most likely to produce brine-based oxygen, data that could help determine the placement of future probes.

“Oxygen concentrations [on Mars] are orders of magnitude” — several hundred times — “greater than needed by aerobic, or oxygen-breathing — microbes,” the study concluded.

“Our results do not imply that there is life on Mars,” Stamenkovic cautioned. “But they show that the Martian habitability is affected by the potential of dissolved oxygen.”

COMMENTS



Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.
Like & Follow to Stay Updated ...

Name

AI,3,Amazon,1,Apple,5,Emoji,1,Facebook,17,Games,35,Google,7,Instagram,6,Science,205,Security,4,Social Media,24,Tech,242,Technology,1024,Tesla,5,Twitter,4,
ltr
item
Technology - U.S. Daily News: Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life
Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j6zWuJUFxTQ/W9Bv6xQij-I/AAAAAAABFmo/kNhc82VSMOgLyAvG4TvlFUtnsHjzStexgCLcBGAs/s1600/1.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j6zWuJUFxTQ/W9Bv6xQij-I/AAAAAAABFmo/kNhc82VSMOgLyAvG4TvlFUtnsHjzStexgCLcBGAs/s72-c/1.jpg
Technology - U.S. Daily News
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/2018/10/mars-likely-to-have-enough-oxygen-to.html
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/2018/10/mars-likely-to-have-enough-oxygen-to.html
true
4191228214535516123
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy