New images of Mars from NASA suggest that life may have ‘existed’ on Mars. Scientists, who have been studying photos captured by the space agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, think that you can spot clay-bearing sediments in the photographs.
The universe is so endless and vast that it is impossible not to let your mind wander about whether we indeed are the only life here. Scientists have been working for decades to find an answer to the age-old question ‘do aliens exist?’
While some experts think that the chances of life outside our planet are slim, others completely contradict that opinion. Considering our current ignorance of how ordinary extraterrestrial life could be, an attempt to estimate civilizations in our universe would be unreliable. However, we have relevant facts and discoveries that hint at the existence of life on other planets, like Mars.
Life on Mars?
The images capture a specific area on Mars known as the ‘Margaritifer Terra,’ which is believed to be ancient and includes craters. NASA has shared photos of what it thinks is an old pond on the planet. However, if clay is present on Mars, it points to the possibility of water being present on the Red Planet at one time.
According to a study released in Icarus, water in the Ladon basin region in Margaritifer Terra could have been found 3.8 billion years ago.
Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, Catherine Weitz, said that clay indicates an environment favorable for life. This is because clays form and remain stable under neutral pH circumstances; on the other hand, water perseveres long-term, which decreases the evaporation of other minerals.
Is Mars habitable?
This evidence supports the idea that Mars may be habitable. Of course, it is possible that even if the planet has conditions to sustain life, there is no civilization on Mars. Although, this has led to some people (Elon Musk) trying to ‘colonize’ the planet.
In 2020, Musk hoped to build 1,000 starships over ten years and send 1 million people to Mars by 2050. He has often mentioned his plan to establish a colony on Mars, which will allow humanity to become ‘multi-planetary.’