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Imminent Discovery of Life On Mars?

Life on Mars?Do you think there is life on Mars? Do you think Phoenix will find evidence of it? Now there’s a blog that’s trying to collect a snapshot of the opinions of scientists, amateurs, and everyday people. “Imminent Discovery” thinks Phoenix may find simple life. Finding this evidence will definitely become headlines… If it happens. Is it possible it might have originated from earth? Perhaps from space, like the famous Antarctica meteorite which was believed to contain evidence of life transported here from Mars?

According to Richard Trentman, a Minor Planet Coordinator at Powell Observatory, “The idea of life in some form on other planets, I believe is highly probable. I have studied about the extreme places on this planet where life has been found and many are far more extreme than may be found on Mars and other planets or moons in our solar system. I believe that anyone that thinks life cannot be “out there” has their eyes closed and blinders on.”

Over time, many astronomers have spent a lifetime dreaming of life and formations on Mars like the misguided Slipher: “Some form of vegetation exists. …The evidence is in the blue-green areas and the changes in their appearance. Vegetation would present exactly the appearance shown, and nothing we know of but vegetation could. The season change that sweeps over them is metabolic…” And yet others take more pragmatic views like astronaut Pete Conrad who commented on bacteria surviving on retrieved Surveyor III remains: “The most significant thing we ever found on the whole Moon was that little bacteria who came back and lived an nobody ever said (anything) about it.”

What’s your opinion? Help to update the book “Imminent Discovery, NASA’s Phoenix and the Secret of Life on Mars” in a post-discovery edition with some of these inputs. Please feel free to Post Your Thoughts On The Imminent Discovery of Life On Mars. Responses may be anonymous or you may use initials if you prefer. To make it more interesting, there is a random drawing of all individuals who enter comments to give away one copy of the classic 1962 book by Earl Slipher “Mars, the Photographic Story”, and a competition between astronomy clubs. Have fun!

About 

Tammy is a professional astronomy author, President Emeritus of Warren Rupp Observatory and retired Astronomical League Executive Secretary. She’s received a vast number of astronomy achievement and observing awards, including the Great Lakes Astronomy Achievement Award, RG Wright Service Award and the first woman astronomer to achieve Comet Hunter's Gold Status.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • George June 6, 2008, 4:37 PM

    millions of christians believe life exists outside of our solar system.

  • Kim June 11, 2008, 12:51 PM

    I am still wondering how life can exist in space. Like do even know if life can exist on Mars or Uranus? In school I am doing a project for Science and we are trying to find if life exists on Uranus or any of it’s moons.
    So if you can tell me if life exists on Uranus or any of it’s moons Leave a Reply answering my question. Thank you : )

  • .;.;.;.;.;.;.;. June 11, 2008, 12:58 PM

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  • Cliff Fraser June 19, 2008, 7:55 AM

    From what I’ve read and it does seem logical, the Universe is made of the same matter throughout. Given the right set of circumstances life evolves from matter; density, gravity, distance from a heat and light source, time etc. If the conditions on Mars at any time in its evolution came within the parameters that allow life to form then evidence of past life forms will eventually be found, the same applies to all planets in this solar system, the solar systems of every other star in this Galaxy and in every other Galaxy. To be otherwise would contradict basic physics.

  • Chuck Lam July 8, 2008, 9:04 AM

    It is logically certain that some form of life exists elsewhere in the universe. Maybe there will be some simple form of life detected on Mars and then again, maybe not. We’ll simply have to wait and see! Concerning the possibility of discovering or communicating with an intelligent alien probably will never happen. While the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere is strong, it will most likely be very rare with mind-bending distances of tens of thousands of light years between species. Any attempt to communicate with modulated radio frequency over just a few light years by any intelligence will be lost in the overwhelming natural background noise of the universe. The challenge to detect a multi-light-year weakened signal will be very similar to trying to locate a burning candle on the surface of distant star. It just isn’t going to happen. I fervently believe SETI is wasting their time and our tax dollars looking for evidence of alien intelligence. However, it would be interesting to hear from someone at SETI concerning their ability to detect, say, a near non-existing femto-watt of any frequency RF.

  • Cliff Fraser July 9, 2008, 8:08 AM

    Since posting previously I have read through some more of the previous posts. Most refer to a belief in something, which means in effect they have no proof. My point, and its difficult to make it any simpler, is that the universe is made of the same stuff throughout so, given the right conditions (and they are fairly precise) life will evolve, it’s what rock does.

  • TD July 27, 2008, 8:09 AM

    So it’s been almost 2 1/2 months since this article and I want to get the last word – but Phoenix still hasn’t gotten any icy soil mix into the oven. So, I’ll be back with the last word when those results are finally in.

  • Feenixx August 4, 2008, 3:22 AM

    @TD
    those results have now come in….

    @Cliff Fraser
    you say: the universe is made of the same stuff throughout so, given the right conditions (and they are fairly precise) life will evolve… and yes, that’s exactly how science works: the same “stuff in the mix” returns the same results – that’s how scientists make up and test hypotheses and theories.

    It stands, imo, to scientific reason that life exists throughout the Universe, that it hangs on to whatever it can for as long as it can (until the conditions become too extreme even for extremophile life forms)… and also: since all matter in the Universe comes from the same kind of “star dust”, set adrift by the same quantum fluctuations when the singularity went “Bang” , all life throughout the Universe is bound to be very similar and reasonably familiar to us.

    Sci-Fi Fans looking for strange Silicon based entities with luminous green blood or bacteria that eat Uranium are most likely out of luck.

    to quote Ned Kelly: “Such is Life”

  • Celestial Being October 12, 2008, 6:11 PM

    ‘Looking for life in all the wrong places, looking for life’. Haa! What a organization of funny beings, Haa! Looking for life on the surface of Mars is definatly not the way to go, Haa! GO DOWN

  • Cliff Fraser October 22, 2008, 9:21 PM

    @feenixx
    Just revisiting this old thread but would add:

    The spectrum of life on this little planet is very diverse and has changed over the millenia to suit the conditions. Dinosaurs could not exist today because the oxygen content of the atmosphere has reduced from 30% to 20%, they would suffocate.

    Similar, but not quite the same conditions on another planet could produce a whole different set of species. Even on earth there are some strange species evolving around underwater volcanic vents in the mid-Atlantic that require no sunlight.

    The evolutionary leap that raised our intelligence way above the next most intelligent creature on this planet could on another planet do the same to an entirely different species.

    Blood is not red in all species on Earth.

  • TD February 26, 2009, 5:09 PM

    Water splashed up on the Phoenix landing strut…..the recent announcement of seasonal methane on Mars….fantastic.

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