In pictures taken by the Mars Rover Spirit, scientists noticed something that may turn out to be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind. Clusters of opals (solidified silica), found in one of the craters of the red planet. This opals very difficult to explain the shape. Difficult until you take into account the activities of living organisms.Thanks to the NASA rovers have found tracks of the water and the observations of the composition of the atmosphere of Mars. At the beginning of last year scientists were able to determine that the red planet 4 billion years ago had great ocean. Also discovered on its surface traces of methane and organic molecules in addition believe that the earth water presence has led to the emergence of life on the planet. It lacked conclusive evidence.
Photos caught the attention of two American scientists.
In opal, photographed by the Rover Spirit at Gusev crater is not particularly noteworthy. Traces of silica and water already found on the Red Planet earlier and the mineral is little more than a combination of those. Scientists, however, considering the particular shape opal growths. On their surface are characteristic lumps resembling a little cauliflower.
Steven Ruff of Arizona State University Farmer Jack and formulated a very intriguing theory on their origin. Similar to the Martian formations found in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. The prevailing conditions it can in many respects be compared to Martian temperature varies from 25 to 45 degrees Celsius and the average height of 4000 meters above sea level makes the surface of the giant wave quantities is constantly bombarded by ultraviolet.
Scientists have discovered in the Atakamy called El Tatio Opal formations are very similar to those that photographed the Spirit. No wonder that when after their examination. It turned out that formed as a result of the activity of micro-organisms, scientists put forward by analogy with the hypothesis that this happened also on Mars. They acknowledge that such inference by the resemblance is not perfect, but “it is everything you have.” To find out whether these assumptions are true, you would have to specifically examine the Martian opal.
The Mission of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit ended up in 2010, and it is not possible to specifically examined indicated by scientists observations. NASA, however plans to send the next unmanned mission to Mars in 2020 and has not yet decided what to order.
Steven Ruff and Jack Farmer believe that the American Agency should send a new Rover to Gusev crater, on the list of potential candidates. It could then download the sample atypical opals and examine them for biological material.
If actually there would be traces of microbes, it would be a breakthrough moment for the whole of mankind. The ultimate proof that life is not limited to our planet.