Scientists suspect life must have existed on Mars, so they are constantly looking for ways to detect it. For their latest experiment, they used the streams in Dorset as a model, given their similarities to the Martian landscape. The St. Oswald Bay’s streams contained fatty acid traces, which is generally regarded as a sign of life. This means the same traces might be present on Mars as well, showing that the planet might have hosted life.
The Dorset streams were a great model for the Martian study
St. Oswald’s Bay contains most of the acidic streams in Dorset. This environment contains an interesting combination of rocks that served as a great model for the scientists. Among these rocks, there is a particular mineral called goethite, that easily turns into hematite. As you might already know, hematite is the rock that makes the Martian surface red.
Therefore, looking at the properties of these Dorset streams should highlight some valuable information on Mars. Life might be quite difficult to exist in the minerals even if they are present on Earth. Therefore, finding such traces here on our planet could mean life was also possible on Mars.
Researchers might really make some valuable discoveries on Mars
Fortunately, the hematite in Dorset contained traces of fatty acids, and this is an indicative of life. Then, through a study, researchers applied all these findings on their knowledge on planet Mars. At first, they calculated the concentration of acidic rocks on Mars and, then, assumed they contain as many fatty acids as those on Earth.
Judging from these measurements, researchers concluded that Mars rocks could have contained several thousands of metric tons of such acids. In other words, this is the equivalent of 12,000 pools of Olympic size. Also, researchers have even better news than that.
Whenever they looked for organic matter on Mars, they used equipment based on heat. The bad thing was that heat could destroy any kind of traces left by once-existing life. However, these minerals can resist heat, so the Dorset findings might really bring some valuable evidence about life on Mars.
The study was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
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