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Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-10-25 16:21:55 |Display all floors

PARIS-Salty water just below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support the kind of microbial life that emerged and flourished on Earth billions of years ago, researchers reported on Monday.

In some locations, the amount of oxygen available could even keep alive a primitive, multicellular animal such as a sponge, they reported in the journal Nature Geosciences.

"We discovered that brines"-water with high concentrations of salt-"on Mars can contain enough oxygen for microbes to breathe," said lead author Vlada Stamenkovic, a theoretical physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

"This fully revolutionizes our understanding of the potential for life on Mars, today and in the past."

Up to now, it had been assumed that the trace amounts of oxygen on the Red Planet were insufficient to sustain even microbial life.

"We never thought that oxygen could play a role for life on Mars due to its rarity in the atmosphere, about 0.14 percent," Stamenkovic said.

By comparison, the life-giving gas makes up 21 percent of the air we breathe.

On Earth, aerobic-that is, oxygen breathing-life-forms evolved together with photosynthesis, which converts CO2 into O2. The gas played a critical role in the emergence of complex life, notable after the so-called Great Oxygenation Event some 2.35 billion years ago.

But our planet also harbors microbes-at the bottom of the ocean, in boiling hotsprings-that subsist in environments deprived of oxygen.

"That's why-whenever we thought of life on Mars-we studied the potential for anaerobic life," Stamenkovic said.

Life on Mars?

The new study began with the discovery by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover of manganese oxides, which are chemical compounds that can only be produced with a lot of oxygen.

Curiosity, along with Mars orbiters, also established the presence of brine deposits, with notable variations in the elements they contained.

A high salt content allows for water to remain liquid-a necessary condition for oxygen to be dissolved-at much lower temperatures, making brines a happy place for microbes.

Depending on the region, season and time of day, temperatures on the Red Planet can vary between -195 C and 20 C.

The researchers devised a first model to describe how oxygen dissolves in salty water at temperatures below freezing.

A second model estimated climate changes on Mars over the last 20 million years, and over the next 10 million years.

Taken together, the calculations showed which regions on the Red Planet are most likely to produce brine-based oxygen, data that could help determine the placement of future probes.

"Oxygen concentrations (on Mars) are orders of magnitude"-several hundred times-"greater than needed by aerobic, or oxygen-breathing-microbes," the study concluded.

"Our results do not imply that there is life on Mars," Stamenkovic said. "But they show that the Martian habitability is affected by the potential of dissolved oxygen."

Agence France-Presse

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Actually, when the Sun becomes a red giant and obliterates life on Earth, Mars will warm up, melting the poles which are mostly CO² and water. In the Summer at the equator, temparatures are a balmy 30°C.

That will precipitate rain, washing the soil of the perchlorates which are unsuitable for plant life.

The atmosphere is mostly CO² too.

So plants need little more than some bacteria to survive according to the movie, The Martian.

Although the years are twice as long as on Earth, the days are almost identical in length.

But in the fullness of time, the Sun will then become a red dwarf and the solar system will probably be unsuitable for life.
Compounding is the magic ingredient.

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The microbes, if found on Mars, could either evolve into intelligent creatures like humans, or be the remnants of a once exuberant flora and fauna.
Believe it or not, it's true.

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Liononthehunt Post time: 2019-7-11 14:04
The microbes, if found on Mars, could either evolve into intelligent creatures like humans, or be th ...

Hmm, I see your point

   In other words into a 2 Party system,

     Nothing else will ever get enough oxygen to survive

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Mars atmosphere is now mostly CO2, we say Solar flares concurrent with Mass Extinction events on Earth caused its previous atmosphere and its seas to boil away.

Live Martian 1, Curiosity Sol 127.

Live Martian 2 Curiosity Sol 300.

Opportunity Sol 1682.
Live Martian 3 Part 1 .. Part 2.

In this model the surviving life forms retreated underground, where indoor type vegetation that does not photosynthesize which breathes carbon dioxide in and oxygen out makes the air breathable .. notice Martians 1 & 2 are in vents where used air from the underground settlements must be circulated into the atmosphere, while the third Martian who is looking down in the left panel and looking up in the next seems to be wearing breathing apparatus.

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MartinTimothy Post time: 2019-7-12 16:30
Live Martian 1, Curiosity Sol 127.

Them models are totally useless ,
   Even today (ON EARTH) they are unable to figure how to avoid H2S

   Simple Western media gone wrong...

   It's not the Media's fault, they're super smart, folks down here getting the other way...

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"Totally useless" nuthin', and as for survival on the surface of Mars ..

Curiosity Sol 1640.

The Salamander is a creature that breathes through its skin, the Martian Salamander above seen clinging to the outside of the Curiosity Rover Sol 1640 could have two fins which vastly increase the skin's surface area and augment the amount of oxygen it extracts from the environment.

Opportunity Sol 985.

The Martian Fox is like Martians 1 & 2 at an entrance to the underground where it can breathe air purified by Houseplant type vegetation that does not require sunlight, the creature knows it cannot venture any further into the outside .. the clinical term is Carbon Dioxide Paralysis of the Respiratory System. Link.

Opportunity Sol 3063.

That the Martian Snake can move about freely on the surface is because it has learned to hyperoxygenate its blood underground, before venturing into the outer world to hunt salamanders fr instance. Video Link.

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