For as long as mankind has been observing the heavens, we have been fascinated by the possibility that other worlds much like earth might contain living organisms. While our visits to the moon have taught us that it is completely barren and uninhabited. Other planets in our solar system show much potential, Venus for example could harbour life in its cloud layer.
By far the most intriguing possibility is the red planet Mars. This smaller colder and more distant cousin of earth certainly had a humid past with liquid water flowing on its surface for more than a billion years. Various lines of evidence point to the possibility of life on Mars, not only in the prehistoric past but possibly today as well. With the information we have received from various orbiters, landers and rovers we have made a number of fascinating discoveries on Mars. We see dried riverbeds and evidence of ancient glaciers on the Martian surface. Tiny hematite spheres have been found on Mars as well as ample evidence of sedimentary rocks that form on earth only in watery environments.
In addition, the Mars rover has observed solid subsurface ice, snow and even frozen surface water on Mars in real time. It has even been shown that saline surface water is likely actively flowing down the walls of craters although this finding is highly controversial. All the factors necessary for life on earth were also abundant on early Mars including a dense atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.
By: Isaac Newton
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