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Is there life on Mars?

Is there life on Mars?
Philip Dixey from West Midlands (age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. The simple – but frustrating – answer is “we don’t know – yet”! Many scientists believe that there is, or at least was, life on Mars, because a long time ago Mars was once much wetter and warmer and friendlier towards life than it is now (we know this because we can see where rivers and streams used to run across the surface). So it’s possible that life did exist on Mars, only to die out when conditions there became too hostile for it. But there may be life on Mars now – very primitive forms, such as bacteria or microbes – either under the surface, under rocks or maybe even inside rocks. We might even have found martian life already; a meteorite from Mars was examined with a powerful microscope and a strange feature inside it could be, some scientists think, the fossilised remains of an ancient martian bacteria. Others say it’s just a natural feature, or the remains of a bacteria from Earth that got into the meteorite after it landed, died there and was fossilised later. Maybe one day we’ll know! A spaceprobe called PHOENIX is landing on Mars in May, up near the planet’s north pole, and some people think that might find life there, beneath the icy surface. We’ll just have to wait and see! 🙂

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