General, Research, Technology

Where and how could life arise on Mars?

At first glance, Mars seems lifeless anda very inhospitable planet. Perhaps this is true, but she clearly was not always like this. Every year scientists find more and more evidence that billions of years ago water existed on Mars and living creatures could well have lived. Indeed, in the photographs of Mars, you can easily see the traces of the rivers that once existed! But how could life exist on a distant planet if it is far from the Sun and does not warm up well? But many years ago the Sun warmed 30% less. Scientists from the American state of New Jersey have recently taken up the search for an answer to this question. They put forward the assumption that the planet Mars warmed itself, thanks to the processes taking place inside.

If life existed on Mars, where exactly?

How does Mars get warm?

The results of their scientific work werepublished in the scientific journal ScienceAlert. Scientists estimate that life on Mars could have existed about 4 billion years ago. However, many researchers doubt this. After all, Mars is located much farther from the Sun than the Earth. And warm conditions are very important for the formation of water and the emergence of life. Having created a computer model of ancient times, scientists came to the conclusion that billions of years ago, the Red Planet could not be warmed by the Sun. Most likely, the heat came from the bowels of the planet.

Most likely, Mars warms itself, from the inside

According to planetary scientist Lujendra OjaOjha), it really is possible. Even our planet Earth is able to warm itself from the inside. This is especially noticeable under ice sheets in high latitudes. Somewhere in the depths of our planet, radioactive elements like uranium, potassium and thorium are decaying right now. They generate some heat and thereby heat the earth's crust. The heating is not so strong, but the heat is enough to melt the ice. It is believed that it is because of these processes that subglacial lakes appear on our planet.

One such lake was recently discovered under the ice of Greenland.

Where does water come from on Mars?

Scientists using computer simulationsfound out that if such processes took place in the depths of Mars, the heat generated would also be quite enough to melt ice. And if we take into account that meteorites sometimes fell on the planet, there would be even more conditions for ice melting. Also, do not forget about the possibility of the existence of active volcanoes, from which hot lava poured out. If we consider that water on Mars could have entered along with asteroids, the conditions for the emergence of life could indeed exist.

Perhaps billions of years ago Mars looked like this

Only billions of years ago, life onsurface could hardly exist. Considering that heat was released from the interior, the best conditions for the emergence and preservation of life were under the surface of the planet. There is a possibility that life on Mars originated somewhere below and only then began to appear on the surface. The presence of traces of rivers, nevertheless, suggests that at some time liquid water existed on the surface of the planet, but then it disappeared somewhere. And if there was liquid water, then at least microscopic creatures could live in it.

See also: How will the search for life on the Red Planet change after the discovery of the lake?

At the moment, scientists see no clear hints ofthe fact that there may be water on the surface of Mars. But they do not exclude that it may exist somewhere in his bowels. Wet soil can be only a few meters below the surface. And bacteria may well live in it, and maybe even worms or other relatively large organisms. At the moment, the InSight apparatus is operating on Mars, which is equipped with a tool for drilling small wells. And in February 2020, the Perseverance rover, which was created specifically to search for signs of life on Mars, will reach the planet.

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However, it is not so important, there is life on Marsor not. In the future, living beings should still appear there and, apparently, people will be. It is planned to send people to Mars in the next decade and scientists are carefully preparing for this moment. On a distant planet, there is very little oxygen, but thanks to the Perseverance apparatus mentioned above, scientists want to develop a technology for artificially producing oxygen. You can read about how they are going to create it in this material.