JUN 08, 2015 7:32 PM PDT

Could a New Discovery Shed Light on Life on Mars?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA has been examining the lands of Mars for years in hopes of uncovering whether or not any form of life exists on the neighboring planet. Although many extraordinary things have been found that could point to the possibility of life, a new finding is leaving scientists with yet another glimmer of hope that they could finally discover the truth.

For the first time, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered deposits of glass on the red planet's surface. The glass was found inside of and around the impact craters that were created from impacts of meteorites.

In the image below, the green portions show glass scattered around a meteorite strike site:

The green spots in the image above show glass particles on Mars.

So why would glass be an indication of life? As NASA explains in a public statement, the glass could possibly be preserving a moment in time inside, much like time capsule.

It is possible that the glass samples could contain answers inside that could tell scientists whether or not life existed in the location of the meteorite strike at the moment of impact.

"If you had an impact that dug in and sampled that subsurface environment, it's possible that some of it might be preserved in a glassy component," Jack Mustard, a researcher, said. "That makes this a pretty compelling place to go look around, and possibly return a sample."

NASA explains that glass has been known to preserve signs of life here on Earth, which leads them to assume that similar scenarios could be present in the glass samples on Mars.

Scientists now have a new strategy to try in looking for life on Mars. It was not previously known that glass existed on Mars, and scientists are now armed with new information that could finally shed some light on the answers we've been looking for.

The hard part now is deciding just what samples to take and what samples to leave be. After all, it's a coin toss in terms of picking up a lucky piece of glass, or just a bunch of duds.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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