London: Scientists have discovered evidence of various kinds of bacteria embedded in a martend meteorite, suggesting life could have existed once on the red planet.
Named ALH-77005, martens meteorite was found in the Allan Hills in Antarctica during the mission of the Japanese National Institute for Polar Research between 1
Researchers from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) Research Center for Astronomy and Earth Sciences discovered embedded organic matter in the meteorite. They could determine the presence of organic matter in mineralized form as different kinds of bacteria within the meteorite.
"Our work is important to a wide audience because it integrates planetary, terrestrial, biological, chemical and environmental sciences and will be of interest to many scientists in those fields," said Ildiko Gyollai of the HAS Research Center for Astronomy and soil Science.
"The research will also be of interest to planetologists, experts of meteorite and astrobiology as well as researchers of the origin of life and to the public, as it exemplifies a new aspect of microbial mediation in stone meteorites," said Gyollai, lead author of the study pubished in the journal Open Astronomy.
The research could change the study of meteorites in the future.
In light of their discovery, the authors explain that solar system materials need to be investigated to determine if there are signs of microbial forms within the rumen – and an indication that there was once life on Mars.