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#1 2018-04-12 03:58:18

louis
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From: UK
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Life on Mars?

Don't recall seeing this one before...University study suggests Rover may have found evidence of past hot spring type life on Mars:

https://www.space.com/34795-mars-life-n … rover.html


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2018-10-19 06:41:33

Airman
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Re: Life on Mars?

This looks interesting honestly! It is crazy to imagine that there can be life or was at some point... Sometimes I dream about going there ))) And I guess I would prefer to do so than to live in my apartment in Netherlands

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#3 2018-10-22 18:06:39

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

https://www.space.com/42210-mars-brines … -life.html
Quote:

Salty water buried just beneath the Martian surface could have enough dissolved oxygen to support microbes, and perhaps even simple animal life such as sponges in some places, a new study suggests.

And if no life perhaps Oxygen can be extracted from those aquifers.  If there are substantial Methane deposits in the subsurface then perhaps combustion or fuel cell drive electric power.

……

On the other hand, if there is life or not, perhaps a process can be designed to extract Oxygen from the atmosphere using such cold brines.  I would presume that the Oxygen would have come either from the atmosphere or Perchlorates.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-10-22 18:11:34)


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#4 2018-10-23 04:53:50

elderflower
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Re: Life on Mars?

Free oxygen in Mars atmosphere is present as a trace only. The easy way to get oxygen from atmospheric gas is to reduce CO2 to CO.

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#5 2018-10-23 07:43:16

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

Yes, they have not explained how the Oxygen concentration would be higher than that of the atmosphere.

Does sub-freezing brine preferentially absorb oxygen from the atmosphere at the exclusion of other gasses?

Does the Oxygen come from Perchlorates created by dust devils?

Or, are they just saying that if you put the Oxygen in the brine it could be at higher concentrations than the atmosphere.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-10-23 09:04:09)


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#6 2018-10-23 09:06:50

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

So, I took a look around, knowing that dust devils likely create Hydrogen Peroxide.
https://sciencing.com/hydrogen-peroxide … 06163.html
Quote:

Hydrogen Peroxide Has Limited Antibacterial Effects
Hydrogen peroxide is widely used as an antibacterial agent, but there are contrary opinions about its effectiveness. Certain types of aerobic bacteria, such as staphylococci, or "staph," have an enzyme called catalase, which breaks hydrogen peroxide down to water and oxygen, effectively diluting it. When hydrogen peroxide is foaming in a cut, some of that foam is oxygen liberated by the bacteria defending themselves. But some of the foam comes from destroyed fibroblasts, which also have catalase. A "catalase test" uses hydrogen peroxide to determine whether an unknown sample of bacteria is aerobic or anaerobic.

Possibilities of Hydrogen Peroxide from Dust Devils, maybe global dust storms as well.
https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/whi … 06.article
Quote:

Based on these measurements, the team suggest that up to 200 times more hydrogen peroxide can be produced through ionisation in dust devils than through photochemistry alone. The presence of so much hydrogen peroxide could ’be one way to explain why methane can be spatially non-uniform,’ said Catling, and may mean that far more methane is being produced by Mars than previous measurements have suggested.
Martian dust devils can be up to 10 kilometres high and hundreds of metres across. The scientists believe that dust devils’ electricity breaks up water vapour in the atmosphere into reactive hydroxyl radicals and negative hydride ions. Carbon dioxide is similarly split into carbon dioxide and negative oxygen ions. This highly-charged soup can then recombine into a variety of different products, including hydrogen peroxide.

There seems to be a mistake in this where it is bold.  I think they would have intended Carbon Monoxide.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_peroxide
So a dusty snow of Hydrogen Peroxide, perhaps with some salts.  What is a brine of salty Hydrogen Peroxide like?
Could it flow down to the underground brine water pools?

If Methane is in fact emitted by some process underground, then you may have a solution having some Hydrogen Peroxide which some Earth organisms could break down to Oxygen and Water.  And then there may be Methane.  Possibly Hydrogen generated by oxidation of regolith, and then their is the Carbon Monoxide in the atmosphere.  I am sure an organism with Hemoglobin could attract concentrations of Carbon Monoxide.

So, then optimistically, Oxygen, Methane, Hydrogen, and Carbon Monoxide.  Still the brines will be very cold and very salty.  Perhaps Billions of years of evolution might create organisms which can handle it however.

It does suggest that such life could be related to Earth life from a time distant panspermia, if such life exists.

It might have to tolerate long periods of lower Oxygen though.  Between Hydrogen Peroxide snows.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-10-23 09:21:28)


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#7 2018-10-24 04:24:04

elderflower
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Re: Life on Mars?

Hydrogen peroxide solution in water (or water solution in peroxide) has a lowest melting point of around -50C if memory serves correctly. It is certainly well below zero C. What the effect of any other components in the solution might have is undefined, except for urea which coprecipitates with the peroxide as crystals containing about 35% peroxide.

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#8 2018-10-24 13:17:10

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

That's helpful.

Here is more.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/ … 9DDKPZFzIU
I have looked as several articles like this.   They seem to imply that there is some process where the cold brine might attract Oxygen from the atmosphere.
Quote:

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

And yet;
Quote:

“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.”

Some articles indicate that some places may even be able to support simple multicellular animals something like sponges.

For me this contradicts what I thought I knew about Henry's law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry%27s_law

But it is Mars after all, and Henry's law was formulated for Earth conditions we are familiar with.
……

And here is some more fun, how Dust Storms and Dust Devils on Mars are thought to generate Chlorates and ultimately Perchlorates.
https://phys.org/news/2018-10-electrici … rates.html
Quote:

In the low-density Mars-like atmosphere, which has less than one percent of the atmospheric pressure of the Earth, charged particles are less likely to accumulate at a distance to form the dramatic spiking arc of lightning. Instead, wind events carrying sand and dust are more likely to develop near-surface electric fields that result in either Townsend Dark Discharge, an effect which is not visible, or normal glow discharge—which appears, just as it sounds, as a dim glow.

Quote:

"This study opens a door. It demonstrates the strong oxidation power of electrons in electrostatic discharge process generated by dust events," she said. "It suggests that electrostatic discharge in Martian dust events can affect many other redox processes in the Mars atmosphere and Mars surface and subsurface, such as iron and sulphur systems as well."

……

So, it appears possible that the near surface Mars may have quite a lot of Oxidizer, and then we have two sources of fuel, apparently.

Methane emerging from a presumably anaerobic deeper underground, and Carbon Monoxide in the atmosphere.

If there is no life on Mars, then we have a excellent chance of having a method to drive a chemosynthetic biosystem.

……

And this is one of my more favored topics.  While pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere or using some other method to warm the atmosphere is an interesting thing, it is a thing which by itself will take a very long time to build a surface biosphere with.

I instead want to go to the root of biospheres.  Under ice liquid pools.  If you inject solar energy, and also waste heat from human activities, under the ice you get way more bang for the buck, and could simulate Europa, Enceladus, and Earth Sub ice lakes and seas.

And it turns out perhaps that the chemicals to drive a biosystem are already there.  And that does not prevent us from injecting even more chemicals such as Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon Monoxide into the mix.  And I believe that a byproduct of that action would be greenhouse gasses to go into the atmosphere of Mars.

We could have a great Northern Sea, covered in Ice, and a system of huge lakes emanating from the Southern pole.

And under those bodies of water you can drill Boring Company type tunnels for people to live in.

And eventually a biosphere may appear on the land areas.  High Artic at first, then we hope Low artic, and finally Taiga.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiga

And for particular areas such as the Valles Marineris, perhaps mirrors in orbit could jump it up to somewhat subtropical, presuming there was enough atmosphere to ward off night time frosts most of the time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valles_Marineris

Done

Last edited by Void (2018-10-24 13:40:44)


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#9 2018-10-24 17:55:33

SpaceNut
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Re: Life on Mars?

Here is the science Salty Martian Water Could Have Enough Oxygen to Support Life

Salty water buried just beneath the Martian surface could have enough dissolved oxygen to support microbes, and perhaps even simple animal life such as sponges in some places, a new study suggests.

This surprising conclusion could help reshape scientists' understanding of the Red Planet's habitability, both past and present, study team members said.

The evidence has been seen in the rocks and with the water stains in the slopes of craters....

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#10 2019-04-02 09:26:31

louis
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From: UK
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Re: Life on Mars?

This is a very sober analysis of possible fungi, lichen etc on the surface of Earth.  The answer is on balance a big yes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqk4Z_my3XE


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#11 2019-04-02 10:04:29

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

I am going to support the plausibility of such life.  I am not going to say that it has been found, but I will argue the case towards plausibility.

I separate Fungi, from Algae and Cyanobacteria for the reason that I think that an organism similar to Fungi could live in the soil and digest CO + (Oxygen(Maybe even Perchlorates).  So, a food and Oxidizer(s) are present.  Here on Earth some Fungi are happy to digest Hydrocarbons.  So Fungi could hide in the rocks and soil and have a metabolism, and avoid U.V., and have somewhat moderated temperature swings.

For now I will stick to Fungi, because it's case is better.  But later I will try to promote photosynthesis in Algae and Cyanobacteria, but I think the case for it is weaker.

What about water?

Actually the case for water for Fungi is excellent.

Germans/Europeans have conducted experiments on putting Lichens in simulated Martian environments.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-bl … -mars.html
If I understand the tricks of this, water was no problem.  The temperature swings were sufficient to provide condensate of frost perhaps to the Lichen.  However they had to live in cracks in the rocks, and I believe that the experiment actually reduced the U.V. to about 1/40th of what it would be on Mars.

However, Lichen is composed of Fungi and (Algae or Cyanobacteria) in symbiosis.  The symbionts can be separated, and still function.
So, the Fungi part could live without the Algae or Cyanobacteria provided it had food (CO), and an Oxidizer.  And in certain locations, in cracks in rocks, and perhaps in soils and even inside of rocks.  And moisture would be available due to the temperature swings.

I suspect that a missing piece of the Germans Martian simulation would have been the small quantities of CO and Oxygen and Perchlorate.

Perchlorate may be hostile to the Fungi, but we can presume that any Fungi indigenous to Mars would have had Eons of time to adapt to the Martian environment.  And we have seen that for 3.5 Billion years the environment of Mars oscillated from huge rivers, to dryness such as it now.  The wet periods may very well have provided Ozone protection, as Oxygen would have been extracted from more abundant water vapor in the atmosphere, and likely a wet environment would have scrubbed the Chlorine out of the atmosphere into salts.  So for panspermia, a lesser amount of U.V. could have created an environment where Earth organisms could have done OK, but perhaps still with some CO and Oxidizers.

During the drying periods as things got more harsh, natural selection and the process of mutation in the presence of radiation could have promoted a more adapted native varieties of life.  Or who knows, maybe some of the things we have on Earth were originally from Martian ancestors, and the versions here adapted to Earth.

Salt.  I believe that Lichens do not tolerate salt very well.  And Mars is salty.  But some fungi do tolerate salt.
https://jgi.doe.gov/salt-needed-toleran … ea-fungus/
So, that is not an eternal show stopper.  Adaptation might have occurred.  And salt could help get moisture, although Lichen can absorb water directly from frost in Antarctica in sub freezing temperatures.  In fact it can even grow, in moderate sub-freezing temperatures.

Well, hold the bus.  This seems to indicate that their are salt tolerant Lichens.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … ched_media

But I will leave it at that.  I think that a case for the possibility of salt tolerant fungi in the Martian soil, perhaps protected from U.V. by submergence in the soil can be made.  In fact it seems reasonable that also fungi could avoid salts by existing in rocks such as sandstone.

And it is possible that some rocks would be of a nature that they would attenuate the U.V. sufficiently that even photosynthesis could occur.  Water should be available.

I think that the German experiment should be repeated, with the addition of CO and Oxidizers.  I am betting that it will support a number of Earth organisms in the soil in simulations of some of the environments on Mars, particularly near the Equator.

As for the supposed stalks making spores, I guess if they had pigments to block U.V. it would make sense for the organism fungi to do that to spread it's spores.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-04-02 10:29:32)


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#12 2019-04-02 17:57:33

louis
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Re: Life on Mars?

Here's the scientific paper that the video relates to:

http://journalofastrobiology.com/Mars5.html


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#13 2019-04-02 18:20:07

SpaceNut
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Re: Life on Mars?

Fungi do not contain chlorophyll or any other means of producing their own food so they rely on other organisms for nutrition. Fungi are widely known for their role in the decomposition of organic matter.

A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi species in a mutualistic relationship.

Scientists who study fungi often keep their fungal cultures in an ultracold (-80 degrees C, -112 degrees F) freezer for long-term storage, and most fungi resume growth when temperatures are more favorable.

Living strategy of cold-adapted fungi with the reference to several representative species

https://polarforskningsportalen.se/en/a … ld-climate

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#14 2019-04-02 19:27:11

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

SpaceNut, I mentioned Carbon Monoxide and the Oxygen in the atmosphere.  That is abiotic, but could support an organisms metabolism.

Fungi, not being animated, their energy needs can be rather low.  Fungi also in using such a resource, could hide out below the blistering U.V. for the most part.  Those that comprise very large organisms underground, may push a fruiting body called a mushroom out of the soil.  However the Mushroom is the reproductive organ of the creature and not the fungi itself.

It is very frustrating.  I had mentioned long ago, that I though that life on Mars if it existed could use CO as food.  Then subsequently I see some scientist posting such materials.  Then here on this site you sort of shut the idea down cold.  This happens often.

Perhaps pose your objections as a question rather than statements.

Here is a supporting article.
https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/ … -monoxide/

Fungi eat oil:
https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/a-re … ms-eat-oil

I have long suspected that before a very Oxidized atmosphere came into being, Fungi dwelled on land.  What might they have eaten?  Well of course organic stuff that would wash up on the shore, but CO and trace O2 would exist most likely produced abiotically without plants.

Perhaps their are no fossils of Mushrooms, but perhaps fungi back then did not make Mushrooms, I believe that some Fungi do not.  So a living system on land could perhaps have fostered a fungi ecosystem, and perhaps some very small animals such as Tardigrades.  So, that might predate the colonization of land by plants and insects.

I will suggest that Tardigrades might live with low levels of Oxygen
https://www.quora.com/Which-organisms-l … out-oxygen


Here is some more thinking about Carbon Monoxide on alien exoplanets.  I think they might have the idea bass ackwards, as they seem to indicate that life could produce the CO.  But actually it could, I guess.  But then there would be organisms that would consume it.
https://www.space.com/carbon-monoxide-i … -life.html

So, Fungi on Mars?  Good chances it could make a go of it I think.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-04-02 19:44:42)


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#15 2019-04-02 20:03:00

kbd512
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Re: Life on Mars?

Void,

We need to go there so we can determine if anything there is alive.  It's the only way to know for sure.

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#16 2019-04-02 20:07:34

SpaceNut
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Re: Life on Mars?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide

Mars atmospheric Carbon monoxide totals just 0.08 percent...

Microbiology

Carbon monoxide is a nutrient for methanogenic archaea, which reduce it to methane using hydrogen.[47] This is the theme for the emerging field of bioorganometallic chemistry. Extremophile micro-organisms can, thus, utilize carbon monoxide in such locations as the thermal vents of volcanoes.[48]

Some microbes can convert carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide to yield energy.[49]

In bacteria, carbon monoxide is produced via the reduction of carbon dioxide by the enzyme carbon monoxide dehydrogenase, an Fe-Ni-S-containing protein.[50]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanogen

https://www.astrobio.net/extreme-life/c … osphere-2/

For earth

Colman’s calculations suggest that carbon monoxide may have nearly reached percentage concentrations of 1 percent in the atmosphere, tens of thousands of times higher than current concentrations. high carbon monoxide concentrations would have been toxic for many microorganisms, placing evolutionary pressure on the early biosphere.

“A much larger fraction of the microbial community would’ve been exposed to higher carbon monoxide concentrations and would’ve had to develop strategies for coping with the high concentrations because of their toxicity,” Colman says.

It would seem that these bacterium developed as a result of close proximity to higher levels of exposures over time from those that would not normally tolerate it.

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#17 2019-04-02 20:30:41

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

Kdb512 and SpaceNut,

My objective was to show that there is an energy supply, and that water availability is not necessarily a problem.  Keeping an open mind on that is the need.  Is there life on Mars now?  I don't know.

So, yes then what's next.

As for humans intruding, we need to consider what the losses might be.  We would want the knowledge of such organisms, but like Elon Musk, I think that these organisms if they exist would be so tuned to the existing Martian environment, that anything we introduced would have small chances of overcoming it.  Unless we terraform the planet.  And in that case the moral question is, do we provide more or less opportunity for any indigenous life?

We know that all life seems as if it will go extinct some day.  So, by contacting possible life on Mars, do we expand it's chances of continuing into the future or do we reduce it?  How does it matter?  Really and honestly I do think that we have to have some reasonable degree of respect for a heritage, should it exist.

That's about it.  I am not claiming there is life on Mars, but I do try to illustrate how it could perhaps make a living in the ambient existing conditions.

Done.


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#18 2019-04-03 05:58:26

louis
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Posts: 4,565

Re: Life on Mars?

I've mentioned before that some bacteria on Earth can metabolise iron oxide and thus provide energy for an organism:

"microbial populations that contain iron-reducing bacteria can reduce insoluble ferric oxide in aquifer soils to soluble ferrous hydroxide and use the oxygen released by that change to oxidize some of the remaining organic material"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-oxidizing_bacteria

Of course the issue of "organic material"  on Mars is unresolved. But it is interesting that some bacteria can process iron oxide in this way.


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#19 2019-04-03 19:28:22

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

This is somewhat old.  A critter that does it all it seems, and which can synthesize nutrients from CO2 if it is fed electricity.
https://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/sc … ectricity/

So, I will have another run at electric Mars.  In this case, I am speculating that if there is indeed a water flow structure a bit less than 1/2 mile down ~750 Meters?, then if it has contact with the surface, we can expect the fluids to be conductive as they would have at least some salts in them.

And what I am saying is that that planetwide aquifer might be kept warm by electrical current flows, and of course the salts and being down to that level would help keep any current induced heat in.  The supposed lake under the South ice cap supposedly could not be liquid unless there is geothermal heat involved.  Maybe the lake does not actually exist, maybe there is geothermal, but my bet until proven wrong is that ground currents through pathways around the planet could help keep that lake liquid, provided it was perhaps a junction point to several pathways.

And the critters mentioned in the connected link would likely find this supposed abode to be a paradise.

And perhaps a take away is that such critters if from Mars or Earth that can synthesize biologic material from electricity using CO2 have to be of interest for any community of humans living on Mars.

Done.


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#20 2019-04-03 20:09:11

SpaceNut
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Posts: 15,101

Re: Life on Mars?

Thanks for the link as it was interesting to see that an anode of charge made the food sweeter and more effectivly used when couple with sunlight. But do we really work at the atomic level for digestion?

I also saw this other link on the page
https://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/ar … me-to-be-/

by creating nonliving to living we are exploring in a way to find life in other forms

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#21 2019-04-04 05:00:04

louis
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From: UK
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Posts: 4,565

Re: Life on Mars?

It does appear there are several possible routes to life being sustained on Mars, especially beneath the surface: iron oxide metabolising,  electricity, breaking down of CO2 to extract energy...If there was life on Mars when it was Earth-like then it would have "tried" to cling on, adapting to deteriorating conditions, possibly over tens of millions of years.


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#22 2019-04-04 11:06:33

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

I am fairly on board with that Louis.

Photosynthesis
Chemosynthesis
Kenetosynthesis  Something I think could exist on red dwarf planets, should they hold atmosphere and water.  Not proven.  Might even exist on Earth, but chances are if it ever occurred, it was outcompeted by other pathways, and went extinct.

Elecrtosynthesis  Although life may not have started this way, it appears that this is at the root of all Synthesis.

And I bet there are more.

Further explaining....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piezoelectricity 
Quote:

Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins)[1] in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure and latent heat. It is derived from the Greek word πιέζειν; piezein, which means to squeeze or press, and ἤλεκτρον ēlektron, which means amber, an ancient source of electric charge.[2][3] French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered piezoelectricity in 1880.[4]

So, much more compatible with life than I had thought.

My notion of Pieziolife would be that for dwarf star planets, tidal locked, the winds and currents should be a major power source.  I am reluctant to think that Pieziolife would be a first biology however.  Perhaps something else.  But on dwarf planets with huge fluid currents, it could be a player.  Even on the dark side of a tidal locked planet.  However, it is somewhat less likely to have a hot sun side and a wet and cool dark side of such a planet.  But I think it could occur on occasion.  How atmosphere is retained is an issue.  Yet the Trappest-1 planets seem to have an overabundance of water, and I don't see that it could exist without an atmosphere.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRAPPIST-1  The Planets are likely tidal locked, and yet supposed to be wet.  Too wet.

On such planets Photosynthesis, Chemosynthesis, Kenetosynthesis, and Electrosynthesis might exist.  What are the chances that each would find a place to live and not overwhelm the other?  Don't know.  I guess each planet may be different.  Earth apparently has Photosynthesis, Chemosynthesis, and Electrosynthesis.  Kenetosyntheisis?  I have not seen reports of it yet.

I think that the terms Habitable and Habitable Zone will need differentiation, particularly if life can exist on Mars either from Mars itself or Earth.

If Mars works in the speculated way, then there could be deeps of aquifer conduits that may support Chemosynthesis, and Electrosynthesis.

There could be terrestrial planets at the equivalent of 2 AU out from a Yellow sun like ours where habitability would be able to exist.

Habitable Zone 1?

Habitable Zone 2?

Habitable Zone.....?

Ummm…. Poplar trees have a shimi-shuffel with their leaf's, most likely for cooling, but I would think on that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus

Likely no Kenetic electric generation, but the apparatus for it is rather good I would think.

And then perhaps flowing water, rivers, streams, beaches.  Maybe some little thing living there.  But I fear that other life pathways being stronger, such critters would not have prevailed in nature would have gone extinct if they ever existed on Earth.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-04-04 11:27:02)


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#23 2019-04-05 16:25:14

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,565

Re: Life on Mars?

Another great video from Joe White:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhTcQaDw824

Could definitely be a snake in motion.  No one can really say for sure.

I don't necessarily agree with his placing of facial features. If it is a snake-like creature, well I think we can see at least one eye bump on top of the head (snakes often have their eyes resting on top of their heads) and they often have very wide mouths - so I would interpret the "mascara line" as possibly a mouth. However, this is just interpretation. 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=snake … 87&bih=750


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#24 2019-04-05 20:20:00

Void
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Re: Life on Mars?

I guess, I made a "Best Case" argument for life on Mars.  In realty I consider the odds to be much more humble.  Not zero, but until I am aware of substantiated proof, I will not believe what I read, or see in pictures.

Many strange articles now from British news about life on Mars.  Very suspect.

Done.


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#25 2019-06-11 19:57:55

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,968

Re: Life on Mars?

It is late and I am tired, but I could not resist posting this item, as I would be afraid I might not find it again.

https://encyclopediaofastrobiology.org/ … atmosphere
Quote:

Lichens, cyanobacteria and molds growing in humidity of simulated Martian atmosphere
From Astrobiology Encyclopedia

Martian conditions in miniature - In the Mars simulation chamber, DLR researchers recreated the atmospheric composition and pressure, the planet's surface, the temperature cycles and the solar radiation incident on the surface. The activity of polar and alpine lichen was investigated under these conditions.
A series of experiments by DLR (German aerospace company) in Mars simulation chambers and on the ISS show that some Earth life (Lichens and strains of chroococcidiopsis, a green algae) can survive Mars surface conditions and photosynthesize and metabolize, slowly, in absence of any water at all. They could make use of the humidity of the Mars atmosphere.[1][2][3][4][5]. The experiments haven't been conducted for long enough to test propagation.
Though the absolute humidity is low, the relative humidity at night in winter reaches over 70% even in regions close to the equator, as measured directly in Gale Crater by Curiosity, because of the large day / night swings in atmospheric pressure and temperature. It may well reach much closer to 100% in regions where frosts are seen (including the Viking 2 lander site) and where ground hugging mists form, including equatorial regions in Valles Marineres and the Hellas basin[6].
This is relevant to the search for native life on Mars. It is also relevant to planetary protection, the need to protect Mars from Earth life if we wish to study native life in the habitats in its original state.

I have posted in the past about the German experiments, but this article is even more convincing.  Where previously, I though they had attenuated the U.V. in their simulations, it appears that the attenuation was in the cracks in the rocks, which it appears could be a plausible simulation for Mars.

I am rather satisfied with the whole read of this.

Exceptions are that I am more like Dr. Zubrin about planetary protection.
Also, I feel that CO and Oxygen in proportion to that experienced on Mars should be included in future tests, as it could very well feed microbes, and perhaps even fungi.

While they have demonstrated to a degree, the potential for life to make it on mays with photosynthesis, they leave out chemosynthesis by excluding the CO and Oxygen.

…..

As for planetary protection my opinions are somewhat split.

We live in a universe which must contain millions? billions? of Mars like worlds.  If there were life on Mars, it might be from panspermia, in which case it is potentially our relatives.  If Mars had it's own genesis, then those millions/billions of ~Mars worlds have strong potential that they might have had a unique genesis of life.

I agree with Dr. Zubrins take on it.  It is very likely that we could distinguish between the Martian "Blood" lines and our own types of such organisms.  Thus, the loss of information to learn is not a guaranteed result of our contaminating Mars.

If the fear is that aliens are hanging out watching us and will do like to us if we to this, then I think those are small odds, and they can have at it if that is how things are going to be.

As for morality, humans have all decided that it is OK to eat other organisms to live, and to also kill them for their needs as well.

The odds are this indigenous life will have a leg up on our organisms anyway, in the Martian environment.

Dr. Zubrin also explains that it is very unlikely that any pathogens will emerge from Mars that are a threat to us.  We get our new diseases from organisms that are more strongly related to us.

And since we are apparently the only creatures like us per our conceit of our value and intelligence, I think we should take that as an important factor to calculate what needs protection.

I feel that the human race will degenerate without an escape route for types that don't live by predating on other humans, but more live by manipulating objects, not people.

And if there is Martian life, extinction of it is not the only possible result, nor do I think it likely.  Actually there is the potential that it will migrate with use to yet further worlds in the future.  This could be seen as a potential benefit to it.

But the article(s) is/are a fantastic read I think.

As for life in the Atacama desert, I read recently that an unusual rain fall actually kill a lot of the dry adapted life.  Recent reading also suggests that Mars had raging rivers periodically up to a billion years ago, even with a thin atmosphere.  So, that suggests that any Mars life would then have been adapted locally for that eventuality, at least in some cases.

I myself am against terraforming Mars so that it has raging rivers.  Not strongly against but I would have to be informed of a good reason to do so.  I also am against wholesale melting vast expanses of permafrost.  I prefer a Cold Oxygenated Mars, but of course if Mars life exists, and is proven to not be adaptable to that then I would reconsider, and search for yet another terraform option, or no terraform.

But we won't know, until we test.


Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-06-11 20:33:25)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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