Suspected cell structure within the Martian meteorite: geological origin or

Scientists have recently discovered some strange similar fine structure of microbial cells in a Martian meteorite inside, but they did not claim that this is evidence of the existence of life on the red planet.


Scanning electron microscopy image Nakhla Martian meteorite, showing a peculiar oval structure.


Transmitted light microscopy images of the Martian meteorite Nakhla peculiar oval structure. But despite its appearance and eukaryotic microorganisms on Earth are very similar, scientists believe it is more likely to belong to the causes of geology, and therefore can not serve as evidence for the existence of life on Mars.

Beijing time on September 3, according to the American space network reported that scientists have recently discovered some strange similar fine structure of microbial cells in a Martian meteorite inside, but they did not claim that this is evidence of the existence of life on the Red Planet .

Researchers identify some of the Nakhla Martian meteorite oval fine structure, the meteorite is very representative of Martian meteorites crashed in 1911 in Egypt. But despite this structure looks very strange, but scientists believe it is the possibility of the possibility of geological origin is greater than the causes of biology.

On “Astrobiology” magazine published this month, scientists wrote:. “Behind the Nakhla meteorite think these strange structures exist in the biological causes of the lack of strong evidence for the argument and therefore, according to the current access to the oval structure data, we believe that it is most likely formed in a non-biological action. “

Cell-like structure

The oval structure about the size of 80 × 60 microns, far exceeding the size of most bacterial species on Earth, but the Earth is still in the normal size range of eukaryotic microorganisms. Eukaryotic microbes are single-celled life form a class of its own nucleus and other internal organelles. Quite confident of the study group believe that this structure belong to the meteorite itself contains, rather than due to fall on Earth after suffering pollution caused.

Scientists use a variety of techniques and analyzes its structure, including electron microscopy, X-ray and mass spectrometers and other equipment. The results show that the major component of the iron-rich oval objects are clay, and which also contain a lot of other types of minerals.

In this study, the scientists consider a variety of possible formation mechanism, and concluded that believe that this structure is most likely due to the minerals in rocks filled with original post holes (such as water vapor evaporation left a hole) formed after The. But the study group also pointed out that this conclusion does not preclude life on Mars has no effect in the process of formation of this structure.

First author of the paper, the National University of Athens, Greece Avery Aspen Technology · Charles 兹塞多里迪斯 (Elias Chatzitheodoridis), said: “Although this oval structure with very distinct biological morphology, but it is the life of the body the possibility remains very small but it is also possible that through the action of microorganisms formed directly, or it may also be captured organics from elsewhere, “he said:.” Here there is an empty fact that there is enough space accommodate some of the microbial community. “

Of course, in order to further confirm the link between it and the life on Mars, still need more research and evidence. He said: “If you can find more of these other things in addition to this oval structure, the structure of the texture until the nanoscale are exactly the same, then we will be very happy but if that’s the case it will need to be very careful incision. More Samples And if that is conclusive evidence, then we will be able to really find conclusive evidence to prove that the bacterial colonies in which its chemical and mineralogical characteristics are associated with the presence of similar microbial communities on Earth. “

Mars livable environment?

Nakhla is a has been studied in detail over the Martian meteorite, scientists have announced previously suspected in which traces of life on Mars clues, and the results of previous studies have largely restored the Fengyun Martian meteorite context. Charles 兹塞多里迪斯 and colleagues wrote in a recent article, Nakhla meteorite parent rock is apparently about 1.3 billion years ago, cooling crystallization, followed by two experienced a serious impact, resulting in significant thermal events.

These two impact event, the first place in roughly 910 million years ago, the second time it happened at roughly 620 million years ago. When this event occurs after an impact Apparently there was a hot babbling over the Nakhla meteorite parent outcropping of rock. Finally, about 10 million years ago, and again let the Nakhla meteorite impact event left Mars into space around the sun, and finally fell on the Earth in 1911.

Of course, regardless of the Nakhla meteorite behind the oval structure is indeed the possible existence of life on Mars associated with, but there is no doubt, that is the study of Martian meteorites will greatly contribute to our understanding of the red planet In the past (and perhaps also including present and future) whether they have the potential to support life forms exist.

Charles 兹塞多里迪斯 said: “Martian meteorites contain important information, but this latest work indicates that we need to be more careful and detailed look at these meteorites.” He said: “In our case, it is So a little bit of a very small sample, but it allows us to get a glimpse of the vast history of the past, we thus know the Martian surface in the near past, some hydrothermal activity, although these water bodies may be brought about by the impact of meteorites, we also that can happen a complex series of processes on Mars, and in this process of the formation can support life environmental conditions. “

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