MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 30 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve identified rock formations on Mars that could contain fossilized remains of early life on the planet.
A team led by a scientist from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in California says ancient rocks in an area of Mars called Nili Fossae closely resemble those in an area of Australia where evidence of early life on Earth has been buried and preserved in mineral form, the BBC reported Friday.
They say the processes that preserved these markers of life on Earth could have taken place on Mars at Nili Fossae.
The Nili Fossae rocks are up to 4 billion years old and have been in existence for three-quarters of the history of Mars, researchers say.
In 2008 they were found to contain carbonate, long considered evidence of ancient life.
Buried life, over millions of years, often turns into carbonate, scientists say.
“This is the place that we should be checking out for life on early Mars,” said Adrian Brown of SETI.
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