Images snapped by NASA’s Spirit Rover might just have helped to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.
SCIENTISTS have discovered mysterious structures on Mars which may have been formed by ancient lifeforms.
Extraterrestrial hunting researchers found a set of distinctive «deposits» in pictures snapped by NASA’s Spirit Rover.
These unusual deposits are made of a substance called silica and resemble those found around hot springs here on Earth.
These natural wonders are interesting to scientists because they often preserve tell-signs of life known as «biosignatures».
n a paper published in Nature, Steven W. Ruff and Jack D. Farmer of Arizona State University wrote: «Evidence for silica sinter deposits on Mars is important given the known capacity of such rocks to capture and preserve microbes, making them ideal targets in the search for ancient life on Mars.
«Hydrothermal spring deposits of silica (sinter) have long been targets in the search for fossil life on Mars and early Earth because of their ability to capture and preserve biosignatures.»
The scientists said their findings «satisfy an a priori definition of potential biosignatures», which means the pair think it’s likely they were formed by living organisms.
Sadly, the sort of creatures who may have helped to form the structures are not the «mini Martians» that UFO hunters believe once ruled the Red Planet.
If the deposits really were left behind by the activity of ancient lifeforms, they are likely to have been tiny microbes.