archiv~1.txt: SETI [ASTRO] New Images Show Additional Evidence Of Possible

SETI [ASTRO] New Images Show Additional Evidence Of Possible

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@bbn.com )
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 17:06:57 -0500

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>Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 20:31:02 GMT
>From: Ron Baalke <BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov>
>To: astro@lists.mindspring.com
>Subject: [ASTRO] New Images Show Additional Evidence Of Possible Ancient
Life On Mars
>Sender: owner-astro@brickbat12.mindspring.com
>Reply-To: Ron Baalke <BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov>
>
> Life On Mars?
> http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/pao/flash/marslife/photos.htm
>
>
> A NASA research team of scientists at the Johnson Space
> Center and at Stanford University has found evidence
> that strongly suggests primitive life may have existed
> on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago.
>
> The NASA-funded team found the first organic molecules
> [Image] thought to be of Martian origin; several mineral
> features characteristic of biological activity; and
> possible microscopic fossils of primitive, bacteria-like
> organisms inside of an ancient Martian rock that fell to
> Earth as a meteorite.
>
> New images show additional evidence of possible ancient
> life on Mars from another, younger meteorite.
>
> [Image] 1075 (Low-re JPG; Hire JPG TIF ) - These are
> possible Martian fossilized microbial cells
> attached to a mineral in the Egyptian meteorite Nakhla.
> They range from about 1 to 2 micrometers in size and
> each one is firmly attached to the crystal by clay
> minerals which are know to commonly form on cells as
> part of the mineralization or fossilization process. The
> scale bar is 5 micrometers or abut 1/10 the thickness of
> a human hair.
>
> [Image] 2058 (Low-re JPG; TIF ) - This shows two
> possible fossilized Martian cells and the
> fragments of others. The cell in the center has the
> remains of a fossilized biofilm partly covering its
> surface. The cell to the right his partly embedded in
> the clay mineral which fills veins or cracks in the
> meteorite (NAKHLA). This clay mineral is now known to
> have formed on Mars about 700 million years ago. If
> these bumps are truly fossilized martian microbes, they
> are then about 700 million years old.
>
> [Image] 2060 (Low-re JPG; Hi-re JPG TIF ) - This shows
> a possible elongated fossilized Martian cell on
> the surface of a clay mineral which fills veins or
> cracks in the meteorite (NAKHLA). Other possible
> fossilized microbes are partly embedded in the clay
> mineral. This clay mineral is now known to have formed
> on Mars about 700 million years ago. If these embedded
> bumps are truly fossilized Martian microbes, they are
> then about 700 million years old. The elongated bump on
> the surface may have formed later or it may be the same
> age as the embedded bumps.
>
> [Image] 2154e (Low-re JPG; Hire JPG TIF ) - This image
> shows a series of partly embedded bumps in clay
> minerals in the Nakhla meteorite. Our interpretation is
> that these bumps are individual fossilized Martian
> microbes. That interpretation must be checked by further
> data on chemistry and structure of the bumps. Note the
> three bumps lined up near the center. These bumps bear a
> striking resemblance to earth microbes which are in the
> process of reproduction. If the bumps are truly Martian
> microbes, they are about 700 million years old, the age
> of the surrounding clay minerals as dated by radioactive
> isotope techniques.
>
> [Image] 2165e (Low-re JPG; Hire JPG TIF ) - This image
> shows a series of bumps partly embedded in a
> tiny slab of Martian clay (Nakhla) . The slab is wrapped
> and partially covered by another layer of Martian clay
> free of bumps. We interpret that the bumps are
> fossilized Martian microbes trapped the clay layers
> about 700 million years ago on Mars. Our interpretation
> must be checked by further detailed data to determine if
> they are really fossilized microbes and to confirm that
> they clay mineral formed on Mars, but the existing data
> supports both of those theories.
>
> [Image] 4181e (Low-re JPG; Hire JPG TIF ) - This image
> shows a fossilized elongated microbe resting in
> a hollow in clay minerals from the meteorite NAKHLA. The
> microbe appears to be somewhat corroded and partly
> covered with the remains of biofilm (slime generated by
> living cells). It closely resembles many kinds of earth
> bacteria.
>
> Below are photographs of the evidence for the 1996
> discovery announcement.
>
> [Image] S96-12301 (Low-re JPG; Hire JPG TIF ) - In the
> center of this electron microscope image of a
> small chip from a meteorite are several tiny structures
> that are possible microscopic fossils of primitive,
> bacteria-like organisms that may have lived on Mars more
> than 3.6 billion years ago. A two-year investigation by
> a NASA research team found organic molecules, mineral
> features characteristic of biological activity and
> possible microscopic fossils such as these inside of an
> ancient Martian rock that fell to Earth as a meteorite.
> The largest possible fossils are less than 1/100th the
> diameter of a human hair in size while most are ten
> times smaller.
>
> [Image] S96-12299 (Low-res JPG; Hi-res JPG; TIF ) -
> This electron microscope image is a close-up of
> the center part of photo number S96-12301. While the
> exact nature of these tube-like structures is not known,
> one interpretation is that they may be microscopic
> fossils of primitive, bacteria-like organisms that may
> have lived on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago. A
> two-year investigation by a NASA research team found
> organic molecules, mineral features characteristic of
> biological activity and possible microscopic fossils
> such as these inside of an ancient Martian rock that
> fell to Earth as a meteorite. The largest possible
> fossils are less than 1/100th the diameter of a human
> hair in size while most are ten times smaller.
>
> [Image] S96-12298 (Low-res JPG; Hires JPG; TIF ) - This
> electron microscope image shows extremely tiny
> tubular structures that are possible microscopic fossils
> of bacteria-like organisms that may have lived on Mars
> more than 3.6 billion years ago. A two-year
> investigation by a NASA research team found organic
> molecules, mineral features characteristic of biological
> activity and possible microscopic fossils such as these
> inside of an ancient Martian rock that fell to Earth as
> a meteorite. The largest possible fossils are less than
> 1/100th the diameter of a human hair in size while most
> are ten times smaller. The fossil-like structures were
> found in carbonate minerals formed along pre-existing
> fractures in the meteorite in a fashion similar to the
> way fossils occur in limestone on Earth, although on a
> microscopic scale.
>
> [Image] S96-12297 (Low -res JPG; Hi -res JPG;TIF ) -
> This electron microscope image shows egg-shaped
> structures, some of which may be possible microscopic
> fossils of Martian origin as discussed by NASA research
> published in the Aug. 16, 1996, issue of the journal
> Science. A two-year investigation found organic
> molecules, mineral features characteristic of biological
> activity and possible microscopic fossils such as these
> inside of an ancient Martian rock that fell to Earth as
> a meteorite. The largest possible fossils are less than
> 1/100th the diameter of a human hair in size while most
> are ten times smaller.
>
> [Image] S96-12300 (Low-res JPG; Hires JPG; TIF ) - This
> electron microscope image shows tubular
> structures of likely Martian origin. These structures
> are very similar in size and shape to extremely tiny
> microfossils found in some Earth rocks. This photograph
> is part of a report by a NASA research team published in
> the Aug. 16, 1996, issue of the journal Science. A
> two-year investigation by the team found organic
> molecules, mineral features characteristic of biological
> activity and possible microscopic fossils such as these
> inside of an ancient Martian rock that fell to Earth as
> a meteorite. The largest possible fossils are less than
> 1/100th the diameter of a human hair in size while most
> are ten times smaller.
>
> [Image] S96-12609 (Low-res JPG; Hires JPG; TIF) &
> S96-12610 (JPG; TIF) - This high-resolution
> scanning electron microscope image shows an unusual
> tube-like structural form that is less than 1/100th the
> width of a human hair in size found in meteorite
> ALH84001, a meteorite believed to be of Martian origin.
> Although this structure is not part of the research
> published in the Aug. 16 issue of the journal Science,
> it is located in a similar carbonate glob in the
> meteorite. This structure will be the subject of future
> investigations that could confirm whether or not it is
> fossil evidence of primitive life on Mars 3.6 billion
> years ago.
>
> [Image] S94-032549 (Low-res JPG; Hires JPG; TIF ) -
> This 4.5 billion-year-old rock, labeled
> meteorite ALH84001, is believed to have once been a part
> of Mars and to contain fossil evidence that primitive
> life may have existed on Mars more than 3.6 billion
> years ago. The rock is a portion of a meteorite that was
> dislodged from Mars by a huge impact about 16 million
> years ago and that fell to Earth in Antarctica 13,000
> years ago. The meteorite was found in Allan Hills ice
> field, Antarctica, by an annual expedition of the
> National Science Foundation's Antarctic Meteorite
> Program in 1984. It is preserved for study at the
> Johnson Space Center's Meteorite Processing Laboratory
> in Houston.
>
> [Image] S95-00690 (JPG; TIF ) - This photograph shows
> orange-colored carbonate mineral globules found
> in a meteorite, called ALH84001, believed to have once
> been a part of Mars. These carbonate minerals in the
> meteorite are believed to have been formed on Mars more
> than 3.6 billion years ago. Their structure and
> chemistry suggest that they may have been formed with
> the assistance of primitive, bacteria-like living
> organisms. A two-year investigation by a NASA research
> team found organic molecules, mineral features
> characteristic of biological activity and possible
> microscopic fossils inside of carbonate minerals such as
> these in the meteorite.
>
>