User:Robertinventor/Present day habitability of Mars-removed-sections

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Life that is dormant for millions of years[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

OLD SECTION NEEDS TO BE UPDATED

Benton Clark III, a member of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team, surmises that Martian organisms could be adapted to a sort of suspended animation for millions of years.[1] Indeed, some organisms can endure extreme environments for a time. Measurements performed on Earth under 50 meters of permafrost, showed that half of the microorganisms would accumulate enough radiation from radioactive decay in rocks to die in 10 million years, but if organisms come back to life every few million years they could repair themselves and reset any damaged systems, especially DNA.[2][3] Other scientists are in agreement.

Life in Geological hot spots[edit | hide | edit source]

< Old section - needs to be updated with more recent refs >

Remains of hot springs like the ones in Yellowstone National Park have been spotted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[4][5] Minerals associated with ancient hot springs, such as opal and silica have been studied on the ground by Spirit and Opportunity Rovers and mapped from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[6]

Deep underground, there may be places where similar conditions are found to this day - where life may occur adapted to extremely high temperatures (80° to 110 °C).[7] An underground magma chamber might melt ice, then circulate water through the ground.
  1. "Astrobiology Magazine". Astrobiology Magazine (NASA). Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  2. Cowen, R. (2003). "Martian Invasion". Science News. 164 (19): 298–300. doi:10.2307/4018828. JSTOR 4018828. 
  3. McKay, C. P. (1997). "Looking for life on Mars". Astronomy. 25 (8): 38–43. Bibcode:1997Ast....25...38F. 
  4. Allen, C.; Oehler, D. (2008). "A Case for Ancient Springs in Arabia Terra, Mars". Astrobiology. 8 (6): 1093–1112. Bibcode:2008AsBio...8.1093A. doi:10.1089/ast.2008.0239. PMID 19093802.  Unknown parameter |author-separator= ignored (help)
  5. "Evidence of Ancient Hot Springs on Mars Detailed in Astrobiology Journal | SpaceRef – Your Space Reference". SpaceRef. February 11, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  6. Source: NASA HQ Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008 (2008-10-28). "NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals Details of a Wetter Mars | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference". SpaceRef. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  7. Huber, R.; Stotters, P.; Cheminee, J. L.; Richnow, H. H.; Stetter, K. O. (1990). "Hyperthermophilic archaebacteria within the crater and open-sea plume of erupting Macdonald Seamount". Nature. 345 (6271): 179–182. Bibcode:1990Natur.345..179H. doi:10.1038/345179a0.