Mars may be more toxic to life than we thought
Life on Mars … does it exist? According to the date on which the past came with the news of the red planet, we could probably be convinced anyway.
As we discovered more and more of the composition and dynamics of the planet Mars, it was not so much an emotion and disappointment with the likelihood that organic life could consume the planet.
The pendulum has returned to the ‘no’ side today with the publication of a study examining how a special type of salt on Mars interacts with ultraviolet radiation there.
Mars soil is surrounded perchlorates, an ion composed of a chlorine atom and four oxygen atoms and binds to a number of different elements to form various compounds.
It is classified as a salt, and is initially caused to hold between alien minds, as it significantly reduces the freezing point of the water, which means that the liquid H20 could exist on the surface. It can also be used to produce rocket fuel and oxygen, another advantage for future settlers.
It turns out that these perchlorates are actually very toxic to life when they bathe in the UV light that bites Mars. Center for Astrobiology UK researchers at the University of Edinburgh have discovered a strain of bacteria commonly found in a spacecraft at levels of perchlorate and UV light found on the red planet and found that almost everyone died within a minute .
They treated this with several different types of perchlorate, and found similar results every time. By adding additional environmental factors found on Mars, such as low temperatures, additional minerals found on Mars and lack of oxygen have also failed to keep the bacteria alive.
This was a bit surprising to researchers because the strain of bacteria used, Bacillus subtilis, belongs to a genus that works well in the presence of perchlorates, as confirmed by studies of microbes in the terrestrial environment. These results were initially good news for researchers seeking extraterrestrial life, as they suggest that some life forms could survive in similar Martian conditions.
It takes more than salt
There are more on Mars than just the ground, and when Edinburgh researchers have added some other factors similar to those of Mars – UV in particular – the bacteria is dead in no time.
They believe it happens because ultraviolet light separates perchlorate molecules into reactive ions that wreak havoc on living cells. This hypothesis was supported by the observation that low temperatures, which slow chemical reactions, prolonged the life of the bacteria in perchlorate but still resulted in their deaths.
If they can not survive there, this greatly reduces the chances of finding life on Mars – a life-like organisms on Earth at least. The researchers published their findings Thursday in Scientific Reports Nature.
Although it is a stroke of luck to find life on Mars, there is at least an increase of the news: NASA regularly worried about the possibility of contaminating other planets with terrestrial bacteria, even going up to crash sensors in Saturn so that they do not collide with The moons of the planet.
If Mars is so hostile to bacteria they can not even take a minute Our fears of surface contamination could be solved.