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 thread  Author  Topic: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in Soil  (Read 876 times)
Sys_Config
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xx Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in Soil
« Thread started on: Oct 23rd, 2016, 03:49am »

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-year-old-viking-life-mars.html
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(Phys.org)—In 1976, two Viking landers became the first US spacecraft from Earth to touch down on Mars. They took the first high-resolution images of the planet, surveyed the planet's geographical features, and analyzed the geological composition of the atmosphere and surface. Perhaps most intriguingly, they also performed experiments that searched for signs of microbial life in Martian soil.

Overall, these life-detection experiments produced surprising and contradictory results. One experiment, the Labeled Release (LR) experiment, showed that the Martian soil tested positive for metabolism—a sign that, on Earth, would almost certainly suggest the presence of life. However, a related experiment found no trace of organic material, suggesting the absence of life. With no organic substances, what could be, or seem to be, metabolizing?

In the forty years since these experiments, scientists have been unable to reconcile the conflicting results, and the general consensus is that the Viking landers found no conclusive evidence of life on Mars. However, a small minority of scientists argues that the Viking results were positive for life on Mars.

One prominent proponent of this view is Gilbert Levin, Experimenter of the Viking LR experiment. At first, Levin thought that the LR results were unclear, and stated merely that the results were consistent with biology. However, in 1997, after many years of further experiments on Earth, along with new discoveries on Mars (which NASA has now declared "habitable"), and the discovery of microorganisms living under conditions on Earth as severe as those on Mars, he and his Viking Co-Experimenter, Dr. Patricia A. Straat, have argued that the Mars results are best explained by living organisms.

Recently, Levin and Straat published a perspective piece in the journal Astrobiology in which they reconsider the results of the Viking LR experiment in light of recent findings on Mars and recent proposals for inorganic substances that may mimic the observed metabolism-like processes. They argue that none of the proposed abiotic substances sufficiently explains the Viking results, and that Martian microbes should still be considered as the best explanation of the results.
Once on Mars, the LR experiment was performed after the experiment searching for organic molecules came up empty-handed. So it came as a surprise when both Viking landers, located 4,000 miles apart, collected soil that tested positive for metabolism. To rule out the possibility that the strong ultraviolet radiation on Mars might be causing the positive results, the landers collected soil buried underneath a rock, which again tested positive. The control tests also worked, with the 160 °C sterilization control yielding negative results.

In addition, it seemed that whatever was doing the metabolizing was relatively fragile, since metabolic activity was significantly reduced when heating the sample to 50 °C, and completely absent when storing the soil in the dark for two months at 10 °C. Levin and Straat believe that these results provide some of the strongest evidence that the soil contained Martian life.
Despite the positive outlook, Levin and Straat note that all future experiments will have an unavoidable drawback: the potential for contamination by previous landers. In this regard, the Viking landers were unique in that they were the only pristine Martian life-detection experiment that we will ever have.
« Last Edit: Oct 23rd, 2016, 03:50am by Sys_Config » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #1 on: Oct 23rd, 2016, 06:29am »

Good piece. Looking back to 1976, that was a decent experiment for a first attempt. Technology and knowledge about Mars has changed so much. 1976 - less than a decade after putting a man on the moon. Pretty amazing in my book. Unfortunately there are no simple answers in a lot of this stuff if it's to be done correctly.

Then we have the sample return to earth ideas that have not caught on for various reasons. A bit more complex than dropping some rocks in a box and firing a rocket back to earth. grin

http://mars.nasa.gov/programmissions/missions/missiontypes/samplereturns/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_sample_return_mission
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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #2 on: Nov 22nd, 2016, 7:10pm »

Interesting Sys & Ed ! This from Spirit Rover...

Did NASA Mars Rover Find a Signature of Past Life ?

SPACE.COM

11-22-2016


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Home Plate opaline silica (left) occurs in nodular masses with digitate structures that resemble those at El Tatio (right).
Credit: ASU/Ruff & Farmer

CONTINUE READING HERE :

http://www.space.com/34795-mars-life-nasa-spirit-rover.html#undefined.gbpl

Potential biosignature ?


Biosignature definition :

Previously, a NASA science team defined a potential biosignature as "an object, substance and/or pattern that might have a biological origin and thus compels investigators to gather more data before reaching a conclusion as to the presence or absence of life."

"Because we can neither prove nor disprove a biological origin for the microstromatolite-like digitate silica structures at Home Plate, they constitute a potential biosignature according to this definition," Ruff and Farmer wrote.

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Spirit imagery shows opaline silica nodular outcrops adjacent to Home Plate showing typical stratiform expression. White outline highlights nodular silica outcrop. Rover wheel tracks are roughly 1 meter apart. Rolling wheels did not deform the roughly 6-inch-high high outcrop (lighter tracks) compared with the inoperative dragging wheel in a later traverse (darker track).
Credit: ASU/Ruff & Farmer

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The Spirit rover imaged this cluster of fingerlike silica nodules near Home Plate in the Columbia Hills in April 2007. The nodules appear to have the same size and shape as silica nodules at the El Tatio hot springs on Earth, where biological activity contributed to their formation.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
« Last Edit: Nov 22nd, 2016, 9:58pm by Cliff-67 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #3 on: Nov 22nd, 2016, 10:40pm »

quote from article

"Here we report remarkably similar features within active hot spring/geyser discharge channels at El Tatio in northern Chile, where halite-encrusted silica yields infrared spectra that are the BEST MATCH YET to SPECTRA from Spirit. Furthermore, we show that the nodular and digitate silica structures at El Tatio that most closely resemble those on Mars include complex sedimentary structures produced by a combination of biotic and abiotic processes. Although fully abiotic processes are not ruled out for the Martian silica structures, they satisfy an a priori definition of potential biosignatures."


CONTINUE HERE :
http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13554

« Last Edit: Nov 22nd, 2016, 10:42pm by Cliff-67 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 08:36am »

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This sort've rules out pareidolia perhaps ? cool

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13554/figures/5


I guess it could just be a coinkydink.

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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23rd, 2016, 8:09pm »

Just laying this out here for further research. cool

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JE003767/abstract



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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #6 on: Nov 26th, 2016, 10:28am »

This might fit here also...

Nov 25, 2016

Mars' Methane Scout Takes Test Run to Sniff out Life

Following up on measurements by NASA's Curiosity rover, the newly arrived European Trace Gas Orbiter will scan for atmospheric methane, which on Earth is strongly tied to life.

Continue here :
http://www.seeker.com/mars-methane-exomars-life-red-planet-2110541266.html


Biology or Geology ? undecided

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Suzy
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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #7 on: Nov 26th, 2016, 10:45am »


The em spectral data says alot.....

https://asunow.asu.edu/20161117-discoveries-asu-scientists-life-on-mars-in-chile


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xx Re: Scientists Revisit Vikings Sign of Life in So
« Reply #8 on: Dec 6th, 2016, 8:37pm »

on Nov 22nd, 2016, 7:10pm, Cliff-67 wrote:
Interesting Sys & Ed ! This from Spirit Rover...

Did NASA Mars Rover Find a Signature of Past Life ?

SPACE.COM

11-22-2016


User Image
Home Plate opaline silica (left) occurs in nodular masses with digitate structures that resemble those at El Tatio (right).
Credit: ASU/Ruff & Farmer

CONTINUE READING HERE :

http://www.space.com/34795-mars-life-nasa-spirit-rover.html#undefined.gbpl

Potential biosignature ?


Biosignature definition :

Previously, a NASA science team defined a potential biosignature as "an object, substance and/or pattern that might have a biological origin and thus compels investigators to gather more data before reaching a conclusion as to the presence or absence of life."

"Because we can neither prove nor disprove a biological origin for the microstromatolite-like digitate silica structures at Home Plate, they constitute a potential biosignature according to this definition," Ruff and Farmer wrote.

User Image
Spirit imagery shows opaline silica nodular outcrops adjacent to Home Plate showing typical stratiform expression. White outline highlights nodular silica outcrop. Rover wheel tracks are roughly 1 meter apart. Rolling wheels did not deform the roughly 6-inch-high high outcrop (lighter tracks) compared with the inoperative dragging wheel in a later traverse (darker track).
Credit: ASU/Ruff & Farmer

User Image
The Spirit rover imaged this cluster of fingerlike silica nodules near Home Plate in the Columbia Hills in April 2007. The nodules appear to have the same size and shape as silica nodules at the El Tatio hot springs on Earth, where biological activity contributed to their formation.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



Sooo,,,whatever became of the martian meteorite(s) that may have had "fossils" ? huh
« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2016, 8:50pm by Suzy » User IP Logged

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