Scientists have found out when and how life disappeared on Mars: the same can happen on Earth
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The red planet, which is now a lifeless world, is faced with a planetary catastrophe, which was provoked by the living organisms on this planet.
A new study by scientists from the University of Arizona, USA, suggests that humans may be not the first life forms in the solar system to face the horrific results of their activities, writes New Atlas.
Mars is now a cold, desolate planet, with a very tonic and thin atmosphere. But scientists over the past decades have found that the Red Planet once had a warmer climate, it had rivers, lakes, and maybe even oceans of water, and there could be microbial life on Mars.
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Scientists at Arizona State University have created a new simulation of ancient Mars, recreating its crust, atmosphere and climate. The model showed that ancient microbes that lived on Mars about 3.7 billion years ago and at the same time emitted methane destroyed themselves by changing the climate on the planet.
Scientists suggested that people lived on Mars microbes that consumed carbon dioxide and hydrogen from the atmosphere and emitted methane in return. But it affected the entire local ecosystem.
“In our simulations, we assumed that ancient Martian microbes lived in the Martian crust. We decided to find out how subsurface life could change the chemical composition of this environment, as well as how microbial life processes would affect the chemical composition of the Martian atmosphere,” says Boris Sauteray from Arizona State University.
Simulations have shown that billions of years ago, microbes on Mars could not only live, but thrive. But the microbes felt most comfortable at a depth of several centimeters to several hundred meters below the surface of the Red Planet.
But the study showed that this microbial life on Mars did not exist for very long, only a few hundred million years. Scientists believe that the microbes have removed too much hydrogen from the atmosphere of Mars, and instead filled it with methane. If before that it was warm enough on Mars (the average temperature ranged from -10 to +20 degrees Celsius), then after the change in the atmosphere, it became colder. And this climate change happened over the course of several hundred thousand years.
According to Sauteray, the atmosphere of Mars began to thin, became more rarefied, and microbes had to look for a new source of energy. And the low temperature led to the fact that microbes began to move deeper under the surface, to a depth of up to 1 km.
“It is very difficult to say exactly when the microbes on Mars disappeared, it is still only our assumption that they lived for only a few hundred million years. But we believe that they destroyed themselves,” Sauterey says.
According to scientists, this is still only a theory that requires confirmation with the help of research on Mars itself. There is a lot of evidence that there could be life on the Red Planet, but whether it actually existed there is still unknown. Scientists hope that the Perseverance rover will still find signs of life on Mars as a result of its search. And perhaps in one or even several samples that will be delivered to Earth in 10 years, researchers will find real Martian microbes that have hibernated for many millions of years.
Focus already wrote that on Earth they lost contact with the Indian spacecraft “Mangalyan”, which has been exploring Mars from orbit for many years.
As for the Perseverance rover, which continues to search for life in the Jezero crater on Mars, then recently, the device found a stone in the form of a cat at the research site and sent an amazing picture to Earth, as Focus already wrote.