Mars captured by the Viking orbiter.Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

Their findings, just published in the journal Nature Geoscience, appear to upend the long-held view that the Red Planet was largely devoid of molecular oxygen and by rote, any biological aerobic activity of the sort that might spawn life.

“This completely changes our understanding of the potential habitability of modern and old Mars,” Vlada Stamenković, a JPL geochemist and the paper’s lead author, told me.

For the first time ever, says Stamenković, we’ve realized that dissolved oxygen, a molecule that was critical for the evolution of life on the Earth, could be available on Mars in quantities that could suffice to support aerobic life.

Stamenković says that their findings mean that, in theory, aerobic microbes could exist in the Martian subsurface today.

But there is still so much that we do not know about the Martian subsurface; whether there is groundwater and details about the subsurface’s chemistry, says Stamenković.

Such questions won’t be resolved until there are new dedicated instruments in place to figure it all out in situ.

But Stamenkovic says that these questions about Mars’ water budget go beyond mere science.

“This is also important for the human exploration of Mars and commercial companies like SpaceX who want to go to Mars,” said Stamenković.

He says the search for extant life is tightly connected to resources such as ice, liquid water, and other volatiles – information that needs to be obtained in order to enable humans on the Red Planet.

Beyond Mars, Stamenković says the team’s results gives new hope that life can access oxygen without the need for oxygenic photosynthesis. This, he says, will be important to potentially water-rich, cooler planets, such as some planets in the TRAPPIST-1 extrasolar planetary system, which might benefit from these O2 opportunities.

Caltech reports that the team was surprised to find that on mars at low-enough elevations (where the atmosphere is thickest) and at low-enough temperatures (where gases like oxygen have an easier time staying in a liquid solution), an unexpectedly high amount of oxygen could exist in water.

Prior to this study, the assumption was that scarcity of oxygen molecules in the Martian atmosphere would also mean they were scarce throughout the subsurface. But the team’s analysis of geochemical evidence from Martian meteorites and manganese-rich rocks points to highly-oxidizing aqueous environments on Mars in its past, the authors note. This, they note, implies that O2 also played a role in the chemical weathering of the Martian crust.

This news taken in context with what geochemists know about Earth suggests that Mars may have had more oxygen than early Earth. That’s because oxygen came to become dominant on Earth only 2.35 billion years ago, or after the emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis, says Stamenković.

Thus, the surprising result is that more dissolved oxygen could exist today in Martian brines than on the early Earth, says Stamenković. That is prior to Earth’s so-called Great Oxygenation Event (GOE). This, he says, gives new hope for life on Mars and beyond for ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus where oxygen can be generated abiotically.

But the key to solving these questions is to design dedicated instruments to go and explore the Martian subsurface for signs of liquid water.

What’s most significant about this finding?

That oxygen might exist in sufficient quantities to support not just microbial life but also simple animals, like sponges, says Stamenković.

“There might have been different opportunities for life to emerge on Mars than on the Earth,” said Stamenković.

” readability=”105.069767442″>
< div _ ngcontent-c14 ="" innerhtml ="

Mars might be swarming with liquified oxygen in a liquid water subsurface, a group of geochemists at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab now state.

(**** )

Mars caught by the Viking orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

Their findings, simply released in the journal Nature Geoscience, appear to overthrow the long-held view that the Red World was mainly without molecular oxygen and by rote, any biological aerobic activity of the sort that may generate life.

” This entirely alters our understanding of the possible habitability of modern-day and old Mars,” Vlada Stamenković, a JPL geochemist and the paper’s lead author, informed me.

For the very first time ever, states Stamenković, we have actually understood that liquified oxygen, a particle that was important for the advancement of life on the Earth, might be offered on Mars in amounts that might be adequate to support aerobic life.

Stamenković states that their findings indicate that, in theory, aerobic microorganisms might exist in the Martian subsurface today.

However there is still a lot that we do not understand about the Martian subsurface; whether there is groundwater and information about the subsurface’s chemistry, states Stamenković.

Such concerns will not be fixed up until there are brand-new devoted instruments in location to figure everything out in situ.

However Stamenkovic states that these concerns about Mars’ water spending plan exceed simple science

” This is likewise essential for the human expedition of Mars and business business like SpaceX who wish to go to Mars,” stated Stamenković.

He states the look for extant life is securely linked to resources such as ice, liquid water, and other volatiles– info that requires to be gotten in order to make it possible for human beings on the Red World.

Beyond Mars, Stamenković states the group’s outcomes provides brand-new hope that life can access oxygen without the requirement for oxygenic photosynthesis. This, he states, will be very important to possibly water-rich, cooler worlds, such as some worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 extrasolar planetary system, which may gain from these O2 chances.

Caltech reports that the group was shocked to discover that on mars at low-enough elevations (where the environment is thickest) and at low-enough temperature levels (where gases like oxygen have a much easier time remaining in a liquid service), a suddenly high quantity of oxygen might exist in water.

Prior to this research study, the presumption was that deficiency of oxygen particles in the Martian environment would likewise indicate they were limited throughout the subsurface. However the group’s analysis of geochemical proof from Martian meteorites and manganese-rich rocks indicate highly-oxidizing liquid environments on Mars in its past, the authors keep in mind. This, they keep in mind, suggests that O2 likewise contributed in the chemical wear and tear of the Martian crust.

This news taken in context with what geochemists understand about Earth recommends that Mars might have had more oxygen than early Earth That’s since oxygen concerned end up being dominant in the world just 2.35 billion years earlier, or after the introduction of oxygenic photosynthesis, states Stamenković.

Therefore, the unexpected outcome is that more liquified oxygen might exist today in Martian salt water than on the early Earth, states Stamenković. That is prior to Earth’s so-called Fantastic Oxygenation Occasion (GOE). This, he states, provides brand-new expect life on Mars and beyond for ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus where oxygen can be produced abiotically.

However the secret to resolving these concerns is to create devoted instruments to go and check out the Martian subsurface for indications of liquid water.

What’s most considerable about this finding?

That oxygen may exist in adequate amounts to support not simply microbial life however likewise easy animals, like sponges, states Stamenković.

” There may have been various chances for life to emerge on Mars than on the Earth,” stated Stamenković.

” readability =”105
069767442″ >

Mars might be swarming with liquified oxygen in a liquid water subsurface, a group of geochemists at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab now state.

.

.

Mars caught by the Viking orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

.

.

Their findings, simply released in the journal Nature Geoscience , appear to overthrow the long-held view that the Red World was mainly without molecular oxygen and by rote, any biological aerobic activity of the sort that may generate life.

“This entirely alters our understanding of the possible habitability of modern-day and old Mars,” Vlada Stamenković, a JPL geochemist and the paper’s lead author, informed me.

For the very first time ever, states Stamenković, we have actually understood that liquified oxygen, a particle that was important for the advancement of life on the Earth, might be offered on Mars in amounts that might be adequate to support aerobic life.

Stamenković states that their findings indicate that, in theory, aerobic microorganisms might exist in the Martian subsurface today.

However there is still a lot that we do not understand about the Martian subsurface; whether there is groundwater and information about the subsurface’s chemistry, states Stamenković.

Such concerns will not be fixed up until there are brand-new devoted instruments in location to figure everything out in situ.

However Stamenkovic states that these concerns about Mars’ water spending plan exceed simple science

.

“This is likewise essential for the human expedition of Mars and business business like SpaceX who wish to go to Mars,” stated Stamenković.

He states the look for extant life is securely linked to resources such as ice, liquid water, and other volatiles– info that requires to be gotten in order to make it possible for human beings on the Red World.

Beyond Mars, Stamenković states the group’s outcomes provides brand-new hope that life can access oxygen without the requirement for oxygenic photosynthesis. This, he states, will be very important to possibly water-rich, cooler worlds, such as some worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 extrasolar planetary system, which may gain from these O2 chances.

Caltech reports that the group was shocked to discover that on mars at low-enough elevations (where the environment is thickest) and at low-enough temperature levels (where gases like oxygen have a much easier time remaining in a liquid service), a suddenly high quantity of oxygen might exist in water.

Prior to this research study, the presumption was that deficiency of oxygen particles in the Martian environment would likewise indicate they were limited throughout the subsurface. However the group’s analysis of geochemical proof from Martian meteorites and manganese-rich rocks indicate highly-oxidizing liquid environments on Mars in its past, the authors keep in mind. This, they keep in mind, suggests that O2 likewise contributed in the chemical wear and tear of the Martian crust.

This news taken in context with what geochemists understand about Earth recommends that Mars might have had more oxygen than early Earth That’s since oxygen concerned end up being dominant in the world just 2. 35 billion years earlier, or after the introduction of oxygenic photosynthesis, states Stamenković.

Therefore, the unexpected outcome is that more liquified oxygen might exist today in Martian salt water than on the early Earth, states Stamenković. That is prior to Earth’s so-called Fantastic Oxygenation Occasion (GOE). This, he states, provides brand-new expect life on Mars and beyond for ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus where oxygen can be produced abiotically.

However the secret to resolving these concerns is to create devoted instruments to go and check out the Martian subsurface for indications of liquid water.

What’s most considerable about this finding?

That oxygen may exist in adequate amounts to support not simply microbial life however likewise easy animals, like sponges, states Stamenković.

“There may have been various chances for life to emerge on Mars than on the Earth,” stated Stamenković.

.