The possibility of life on Mars has fascinated both space enthusiasts and scientists in equal measure, with agencies gradually accelerating their missions to explore the Red Planet. But now, new research finds that Mars may not be the ideal place for life as life may not be able to survive on it.
A study conducted by researchers from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), discovers that Mars may not be habitable after all, as the planet‘s atmospheric conditions do not allow for even salty water to be stable for life. Instead, any water that has managed to come to the surface would instantly vaporize, freeze, or boil.
Mars May Not Be The Ideal Planet for Us
One of the researchers involved in the study, Dr. Alejandro Soto, explained the team’s process in coming to that outcome by examining certain areas of Mars “where liquid water temperature and accessibility limits could possibly allow known terrestrial organisms could replicate – to understand if they could be habitable.”
Dr. Soto and his team used the climate data collected so far on Mars in order to develop a model that can accurately predict the location when it took place, and how long it took for water bodies on the planet to be stable and shallow on the surface and subsurface, respectively.
According to their analysis, the brines typically form on the surface of a planet for a short time of the year, for up to six hours continuously and remain like that. Still, it cannot go past the six-hour mark as the water bodies would have a maximum temperature of -48 degrees Celsius (-55 degrees Fahrenheit) by then. This exceeds the known endurance of human life or life on Earth.
“Even extreme life on Earth has limits, and we found that brine formation from some salts can lead to liquid water over 40 percent of the Martian surface but only seasonally, during two percent of the Martian years,” said Dr. Soto. “This would preclude life as we know it.”
Aliens Lurking in Space
Dr. Soto also explains that the findings lower the risk of cross-contamination by any future explorers who travel to the Red Planet.
He said: “These new results reduce some of the risks of exploring the Red Planet while also contributing to future work on the potential for habitable conditions on Mars.”
However, some scientists are hopeful that missions like NASA‘s Curiosity rover and the Mars Perseverance rover will find evidence of past life on the Red Planet. The study’s findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
In the meantime, it was previously reported that aliens might be living on the dark side of the Moon, as per alien hunters. Only one side of the Moon has faced our planet because of a process known as tidal locking, which involves the gravitational pulls of the Earth and the Moon.
Not long ago, NASA probes captured images of that particular side of the Moon, revealing the structures that seem to cast shadows on the lunar surface. Alien hunter Scott C. Waring has since examined the images and said that these constructions are artificial and that it is absolutely impossible for those to be made naturally.