The Types of Astrobiological Life That Could Be In Our Solar System
By, Francis Benoti - Ph. D. , Ronald Stewart; Ph.D., and Karen Anderson - M.S.
DECEMBER 30TH, 2010 - When we think of the different kinds of astrobiological extraterrestrial life forms that in their simplest context that could exist in our solar system we usually think of a remote body in our solar system like Neptune or Europa. We seldom anticipate any such potential life form to exist on places like Mars that has been investigated frontwards, backwards, and inside out. Yet to the writing of this article mankind on earth has still yet to find any definite signs of life on this desert like barren rock planet.
Although there is a substantial amount of evidence that at one time Mars had more water, at this stage of investigation Mars may have sporadic areas upon it's surface where water still coagulates in a frost like condition only to dissipate when the extreme hot and cold temperature differentiation on this planet soon no doubt evaporates any water upon the Martian surface very quickly when the temperature rises. Except for ice or any water that could be present on the Martian surface at it's north and south hemispheres.
There has been discussion among scientists that there may be alternatives lacking the appeal of life will be explored. Martian methane...aqueous processes, it might be a poor astrobiological site. Might methane be generated in mantle or crustal systems isolated from sulfate and sulfur...require the assumption that Martian life exists ? If we are to keep a hope and positive expectation that one day robotic surveyor's like NASA's Opportunity rover that has been exploring Mars' Meridiani Planum, a smooth, flat plain that is unlike any feature studied by earlier Martian landers. In this Perspective. Insights into Martian geochemistry and geology gained from the rover is important to study.
Comparing Martian strata with Permian acid saline lake deposits ( Benison) Kathleen C.,(2006). Comparing Martian strata with Permian acid saline lake deposits makes a comparison in her technical paper in comparison of this part of earth's geology in some similar geochemical similarities.
It would seem as though this article is about the potential for some sort of extreme life form on Mars. The discussion about Mars is because as the foremost planet or body in our solar system it has been investigated and explored more than any other body in our solar system, looking for some other type of alien life than what we know exists on earth. The discussion here is to open up a forum of discussion on how it may be elsewhere under hot and cold environments, in which we see both of these conditions exists on Mars and the study of Mars gives us a better idea what to look for elsewhere. This is why Mars has been discussed to this point in this article.
Mars has diagenetic features as seen on earth in similar respects as seen iin the Burns Formation at Meridiani Planum. Bedding, cross-bedding, ripple marks, mud cracks, displacive evaporite crystal molds, and hematite concretions are contained in these Martian strata. All of, these features are evidence of past saline groundwater and ephemeral shallow surface waters on Mars.. Geochemical analyses of these Martian outcrops have established the presence of sulfates, iron oxides, and jarosite, which strongly suggests that these waters were also acidic. The same assemblage of sedimentary structures and diagenetic features could be found in saline sulphur based environments even on cold environmental bodies in our solar system like Europa for instance. Or where there are the far reaches of our solar system like Neptune and Pluto maybe we would find a life form that could be barophile in nature. This is a life form that could take extreme atmospheric pressures of maybe 2000 psi or greater and still exist. Yes the aspect of both harsh hyper-extremophile life form possibilities still exist in our solar system.