Hopes of finding life on Mars have been consistently dashed by data clearly showing that the planet’s surface would be extraordinarily hostile to anything resembling a living cell. Scientific studies have demonstrated that conditions there would quickly put an end to any incipient life form.
Mars has virtually no atmosphere, exposing the surface to plenty of unfiltered solar radiation. Its surface temperature is also too cold to sustain living organisms. The oxidized iron that colors the rocks red is hazardous to life. And to add insult to injury, a new study has discovered yet another apparent reason why the red planet remains dead.
Scientists had hoped that methane could have played a role in the spontaneous generation of life on Mars.1 In an effort to explain Mars’ methane, which is sent up in summertime plumes, chemists experimented with some of the chemicals and conditions that exist on the planet’s surface.
The researchers found that sunlight in conjunction with tiny red oxide particles destroys various carbon-containing compounds in the laboratory in what are called “photodegradation” reactions. Among many other parts and parameters, living cells need carbon.
Amino acids and short protein pieces form some of the most vital carbon-containing components of living cells. According to the lab results, on Mars’ surface these small chemical building blocks of life are being efficiently and irreversibly turned into crystalline minerals by combining with metals like iron and forming stable salt compounds. This leaves them totally unavailable to chemically “evolve” into life forms…..
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