(ORDO NEWS) — On the surface of Mars , conditions reign that are not suitable for the comfortable existence of life forms familiar to us.
However, below the surface, the conditions are radically different , therefore, according to astrobiologists, the simplest life forms could settle there.
Beneath the surface of the Red Planet are hidden salt lakes enriched with oxygen, which is enough for the simplest microorganisms to live and multiply there.
Similar life forms that appeared billions of years before humans are also found on Earth.
A team of researchers led by physicist Vlada Stamenkovic, analyzing the latest data provided by the NASA Curiosity rover, discovered manganese oxide in the soil.
This indicates that not just liquid water is hiding under the surface, but water enriched with oxygen.
“The liquid state of water provides a high concentration of salt. Manganese oxide came from dissolved oxygen in water, which means we made a mistake when we stopped looking for aerobic organisms that need free molecular oxygen for energy synthesis processes life forms.
There is oxygen on Mars, but it is concentrated not in the atmosphere, but under the surface.
Due to the fact that only 0.14% oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars (on Earth 21%), it seemed a pointless undertaking to look for familiar life forms.
Then scientists switched to anaerobic (does not need oxygen) microorganisms, trying to find traces of their activity.
“Manganese oxide changed everything. We created many computer models, recreated the Martian “brine” in the laboratory, and made sure that all this would be enough for the survival of some of the most ancient terrestrial bacteria.
The chances of finding life on Mars have increased dramatically.
At the moment, scientists are engaged in the fact that they are compiling a map of the regions of the Red Planet, where the very “oases” that sheltered representatives of extraterrestrial life can hide under the surface. By the time the paper was published, four subsurface liquid lakes had been found.
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