Charles Packard

Ted Coskey

Astronomy 100

June 9, 2009

 

POSSIBLE LIFE ON MARS

 

            The planet Mars, I believe, had developed life similar to the evolutions from the way we started on Earth.  Right now it’s common knowledge that life started on Earth with amino acids using available elements and compounds like water, methane, ammonium, and hydrogen to form simple prokaryotic life that evolved to multi-cellular life like us.  A living thing is made from 1 or more cells with its own equilibrium, is complex and organized, grow and reproduce, respond to stimuli, must organize and use energy, and have a change in instructions for the next generation beneficial to the species. 

            Mars is roughly the same age of earth about 4.6 billion years it formed, rotates almost the same about 33 minutes longer, use to have water, and has an atmosphere.  But mars is half the size of earth, with 1/3 gravity, and currently has 100 times less pressured air than earths with 95% carbon, 3% Nitrogen, and 2 % argon.  It’s very cold in the coldest temperature and mildly hot in its hottest and revolves around the Sun 1.88 years.  However, there is no oxygen in the atmosphere what we know on earth for our survival.  But there is a lot of oxidized iron and frozen water, which contains oxygen.  On the surface, I think the only living thing would exist in the Valles Marineris near the equator about 4 miles deep.  I think you would find possibly lichen, a kind of fungus attached to rust rocks using it as food or energy, and get worm during the day time. 

            Now I also believe that life started from deep inside the crust of the earth.  Hot and pressurized and evolved into the surface, maybe mars is much wormer deep like it is on earth and water would be in a liquid state.  That would be a perfect breeding ground for very simple bacteria and fungus like we have discovered on earth to form.  3.5 billion years ago we dated the first living thing formed on earth, the atmosphere back then were I believe low pressured and no oxygen environment like on current mars.  Life started on earth processing CO2 to carbon and O2 in the Precambrian explosion which we are pretty much formed, and the dinosaurs.  Mars may have had a Precambrian period of time, but the works died from the lack of a shield, a strong magnetic field that protects life from deadly radiation from the Sun and the universe.   

            I hope in my life time, we go to mars and explore to answer many questions that I have, and the rest of science.  I believe there are fossils and possible life on mars, but not scary aliens like the Hollywood movie “War of World” but lichens and very simple prokaryotic life looking forms.