The possibility of finding present day life on Mars may have just taken a dramatic step closer to reality, according to a new study indicating the current Martian atmosphere could sustain microbial communities.
Until today, studies have focused on liquid water as the main fuel source needed for any life form on the Red Planet. New findings published this week in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), however, switch things up for astrobiologists, suggesting that carbon monoxide in Mars’ atmosphere could very well be the key energy source for bacteria-like life forms to eek out a living anywhere at or near the surface.
For years Mars scientists have speculated that whole microbial communities may have existed in the planet’s ancient past and possibly even today within briny pools trapped underneath the barren planet’s ice caps and soil. However the big unknown has always been what food source they would have access to.
As it turns out, all that carbonRead More »from Martian microbes could sustain themselves on Red Planet air: study