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Old Mar 12, 2013, 06:52 PM   #1
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NASA: Life Could Have Existed On Mars

So its official. The folks working at NASA have just announced that life could have been possible on mars at some point in the past.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ms...l20130312.html
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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To be fair, we've sorta kinda known that it could have existed on Mars.

The big news here is that we know for a fact that the actual stuff needed to support life is there, which is of course awesome.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 03:00 AM   #3
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 08:28 AM   #4
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To be fair, we've sorta kinda known that it could have existed on Mars.

The big news here is that we know for a fact that the actual stuff needed to support life is there, which is of course awesome.
Agreed. Makes me wonder if any of the probes will find microscopic evidence of life.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Also makes me wonder what happened all those millennia ago..It takes one hell of an event to remove and poison a planets atmosphere to the extent that all life is extinguished.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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First geocentrism shot down.
Next human exceptionalism.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Wouldn't surprise me that one day we find out we were descendants from martians.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Confirmation that Mars once had 'relatively' fresh water all but answers one of the long unanswered questions about the red planet we now know for sure that making instant mashed potato was once possible there.

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Old Mar 13, 2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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Also makes me wonder what happened all those millennia ago..It takes one hell of an event to remove and poison a planets atmosphere to the extent that all life is extinguished.
If life did indeed exist there, it was probably extinguished as the planet lost most of its atmosphere. The modern Martian atmosphere is too thin to even retain surface water. There are various theories as to how this loss occurred... One being that it was carried off by countless eons of bombardment from solar wind, which the planet had little protection against after its magnetic field ceased up.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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I think given the fact we've detected methane gas emissions in Mars' atmosphere, there is a chance at least microbial life still exists beneath the surface of the planet.

If they confirm that, then it is proof that life can exist on other planets.
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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I think given the fact we've detected methane gas emissions in Mars' atmosphere, there is a chance at least microbial life still exists beneath the surface of the planet.

If they confirm that, then it is proof that life can exist on other planets.
Didn't they already prove that by finding microbes under the ice on Titan?
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 02:23 AM   #12
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Didn't they already prove that by finding microbes under the ice on Titan?
They theorized that there could be, but there is no evidence of life on Titan.

Finding microbes on Mars would go a long way towards proving that the conditions for life alone can result in life and there isn't anything special on Earth that would make it the sole planet with life on it. It would also give more credence to the Drake equation.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 08:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by eagandale4114 View Post
So its official. The folks working at NASA have just announced that life could have been possible on mars at some point in the past.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ms...l20130312.html
Thanks for posting this, OP. Amazing and fascinating story.

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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
To be fair, we've sorta kinda known that it could have existed on Mars.

The big news here is that we know for a fact that the actual stuff needed to support life is there, which is of course awesome.
Nice post, and sums it up well.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 08:31 AM   #14
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Maybe they found the little green piggies from the Red Planet episode of Angry Birds Space...
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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Also makes me wonder what happened all those millennia ago..It takes one hell of an event to remove and poison a planets atmosphere to the extent that all life is extinguished.
It's quite apparent (but not widely known) that something roughly the size of Texas hit Mars with enough velocity to create what is now Olympus Mons on the opposite side of the planet. This impact could have been responsible for poisoning or altering the atmosphere to the point where life was no longer sustainable (assuming life did indeed exist there).
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 04:40 PM   #16
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If they would send all our excess C02 gas emissions to Mars and a few coal plants to make more (and a load of plants to provide some oxygen), we could make Mars livable again in a few hundred years.

Now who wants to shovel some Martian coal?
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 07:51 PM   #17
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If they would send all our excess C02 gas emissions to Mars and a few coal plants to make more (and a load of plants to provide some oxygen), we could make Mars livable again in a few hundred years.

Now who wants to shovel some Martian coal?
Wouldn't really work. We would first need to find a way to restart its core to restart the magnetic field preventing the solar wind from stripping the atmosphere.
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 02:55 PM   #18
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Wouldn't really work. We would first need to find a way to restart its core to restart the magnetic field preventing the solar wind from stripping the atmosphere.
Just have to strategically place some nukes in the core like they did in that movie to restart Earth's core.
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 06:41 PM   #19
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I think this is even bigger news

Quote:
On 29 December 2012, a fireball lit up the early evening skies over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa. Hot, sparkling fragments of the fireball rained down across the countryside and witnesses reported the strong odour of tar or asphalt.

Over the next few days, the local police gathered numerous examples of these stones and sent them to the Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Colombo. After noticing curious features inside these stones, officials forwarded the samples to a team of astrobiologists at Cardiff University in the UK for further analysis.

The results of these tests, which the Cardiff team reveal today, are extraordinary. They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination.
<--- understatement
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 04:13 PM   #20
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They theorized that there could be, but there is no evidence of life on Titan.

Finding microbes on Mars would go a long way towards proving that the conditions for life alone can result in life and there isn't anything special on Earth that would make it the sole planet with life on it. It would also give more credence to the Drake equation.
Unfortunately, I believe the current rover is strictly forbidden to go anywhere near places where NASA figures could support microbes. IIRC, one of the modules on the Curiosity was removed for servicing prior to launch, and reinstalled without being decontaminated. There is a fear that if any earth microbes were still attached to the module then any tests that detected martian microbes would be suspect.

The good news is - the more that Curiosity discovers, the more accurate picture scientists have about where to dig for microbes when we finally get a microbe digging machine up there.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 02:23 PM   #21
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I think this is even bigger news



<--- understatement
It's been disproved already.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 02:43 PM   #22
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It's been disproved already.
Oh? That's disappointing.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 02:51 PM   #23
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First geocentrism shot down.
Next human exceptionalism.
I don't know how this will pan out with "new" Pope. Actually the Pope who was in office/power when it was pretty evident we weren't the center of the universe actually agreed with Galileo. Science rarely lies and now nobody (except for a few) have any problem with being religious and also believing we are not the center of the universe but it took a long time though. If, actually when, it's proven that there was life on mars there will be a transition time with something that is fact versus people who think it's a direct assault on their faith.

I do see where Christians get upset if something challenges their world view, but where in the entire bible is there anything saying we are the center of the universe or that we are alone? If life on Mars is proven there will be some idiot who is sure that Satan planted it there.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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Science rarely lies
I don't know about lying, but what many scientists (not to be confused with science itself) do is judge/conclude/condemn entire subjects and theories without any proof except their own opposing theories. This, to me, shows extreme bias and emotionalism that pure science is not supposed to have. Sadly, most human beings are incapable of pure scientific work. They always want to draw conclusions on a given subject and then use those conclusions to bash any other ideas out there with words like bogus, poppycock, fiction, fancy, etc. etc.

A simple example is the Ancient Astronaut theory. Other than the proponents, it gets ridiculed left and right in the mainstream since this might contradict Darwin's theory of pure evolution on earth despite the time frames needed to create DNA being more likely to get a fully assembled working 747 by nature than DNA in the same time frame. No, ignore all evidence that pokes holes in existing theories and instead look for holes to poke in alternative theories and simply say that the holes they poked aren't a big deal and easily ignored. THAT is what scientists do. They're not supposed to give opinions, only present facts and statistical likelihoods as they analyze them to be now. Conjecture is one thing, but ridicule is another. The history books paint religion as ignorant poppycock yet you see the same sorts of thing from scientific groups all the time. Pointing out flaws is fine. Being vindictive, totally dismissive and essentially excommunicated is another. You see labels like "fringe scientists" (i.e. ones who research and/or believe in another non-mainstream theory) and pseudo-scientific theories, etc. Yet for all its claims, Darwinism is just an observation of similar species and now with similar genetic markers (with no far-out other worldly genetic structure to compare against; for all we know life everywhere might look similar if that's the only way it can work).

That's just one example, but don't believe for a minute that scientists are these non-judgmental almost Star Trek "Vulcan-like" people that just say fascinating when they find something new. They're set in their ways and methods and beliefs the same as anyone else. They simply believe something different based on observational records rather than myth, etc.

Religion clashes with Science because their myths are whole-sale off in terms of time periods, etc. The fact you see the churches now crawling away from some of that is simply an unspoken admission that this planet has been here way longer than the time periods implied. But myth and hand-me-down history makes more sense in terms of error than anything else. They wrote what they saw and believed and potentially misunderstood. That doesn't mean they just made crap up either. Yet much of science relies too much on things like Carbon Dating which has potential flaws if the "constant" it relies on is actually variable.

You have hard dates for things like the Sphinx and this nice and neat history book explanation of our past like its simple points of fact. You later find water weathering erosion that pushes the time period back to nearly double the supposed date and it doesn't fit the puzzle anymore and is in danger of making the entire puzzle fall apart. So rather than look for the new puzzle, scientists just deny the evidence of water erosion that points to it being thousands of years older. That's not how "science" is supposed to work. That's how hard-headed people who don't want their life's work obliterated as total error behave. You see the same in archeology in general and some places like Egypt won't even let the alternatives do research there for fear they MIGHT find something that unravels part or all of their own life's work. Sadly, scientists are all too human and all too full of it in the grand scheme of things.

Did they really find a Higgs-Boson ("we think so") or are they trying to justify $10 BILLION in wasted money to look for something that's not really there? Dark matter? It's a non-proven to exist band-aid for a massive flaw somewhere in Physics. We don't understand gravity AT ALL (just its effects) and it's screwing up the entire model of the Universe. Of course if we did understand it and knew how simple it was to get around the Universe once the true nature was understood, we'd slap ourselves in the head. But having two areas of Physics that simply do NOT work together (you get infinity when you try to combine them, proving something is WRONG WRONG WRONG in at least one of them), we can't just throw the last century out and look for the truth. We keep looking for band-aids to make the ridiculously overly complex math in Quantum Physics to work when it obviously doesn't (i.e. something is wrong in the proposed models; yes parts explain certain behaviors great, but overall on a grand scale it just falls apart and no surprise given the math describes the behaviors rather than source of it).

Yet its those same physics that say no other life could have possibly visited or found earth. We're too remote. We're too far away. It's just not possible to cover those distances. And we make these conclusions based on our own current knowledge and technology (giant firecrackers to get into space). It's a total HOOT to see grown men make absolute statements based on their own ignorant rather than just admit WE aren't there yet but that doesn't mean that's all there is. We think we can understand all of Physics in a couple of hundred years. The arrogance is high. The knowledge is small.

So you won't see me trashing theories. Is Ancient Aliens bunk? Possibly. Are we descended from hominids common to the Apes? Possibly. Did a Creator being MAKE us from the "earth"? Possibly. Is it possible to combine all three into one and still have something that works? Yes, it seems it is. But that's a "fringe" idea and there's only interpreted circumstantial evidence and myths about "gods", etc. But coming out of "nothing" is just as bizarre to me. You've got alternatives now to the Big Bang Theory and they get poo-pooed also. You've got String Theory and you've got Loop Quantum Gravity and just watch some of their proponents bash the other one (in a calm way of course...usually, although one only need to look at people like Lubos Motl to see insults in action).

It's a good thing there's lots of salt on this planet because you have to ingest it constantly when you read something.

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Old Mar 19, 2013, 05:23 PM   #25
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To be fair, the ancient astronaut theory is criticized because:

A: History channel has that show and the arguments they make are absolutely ridiculous
B: That guy's hair is crazy.

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