Life existed on Mars before four billion years; what happened there?

Mars global mosaic shot by the MCC
Mars global mosaic shot by the MCC ISRO

As space agencies like NASA and private space companies like SpaceX are busy gearing up with their Mars colonization missions, a new study has suggested that the Red Planet was once warm enough to host life on its surface. As per the study report, conditions in Mars before four billion years ago was suitable to support simple life forms and the atmosphere was capable enough to host pouring rainstorms and flowing water.

During the study, scientists compared the mineral deposit pattern of Mars with the earth and found that the Red Planet was once warm enough with flowing water on its surface. It should be noted that the existence of a warm surface with flowing water is one of the key clues that indicate that life might have formed independently on Mars.

"Here on Earth, we find silica deposition in glaciers which are characteristic of melting water. On Mars, we can identify similar silica deposits in younger areas, but we can also see older areas which are similar to deep soils from warm climates on Earth. This leads us to believe that on Mars 3 to 4 billion years ago, we had a general slow trend from warm to cold, with periods of thawing and freezing. If this is so, it is important in the search for possible life on Mars," said Briony Horgan, a professor at Purdue University, Newsweek reports.

However, things have changed now, and the average temperature on Mars now is negative 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The atmospheric conditions of Mars have also changed, and currently, the Red Planet has a very harsh environment, that is exposed heavily to space radiation.

Horgan added that the upcoming Mars mission in 2020 will look more closely at the pattern of mineral distribution that shares eerie similarities with the earth, and this will help a lot to know more about the conditions that existed on young Mars.

A few days back, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX had revealed that he wished to nuke Mars before human colonization. After the surprising comment from Musk, experts suggested that the actual plan of the South African billionaire is to terraform the planet. As per experts, nuking Mars could release trapped carbon dioxide from the Marian surface, thus it will become suitable for future human colonization.

Related topics : Nasa