On the basis of a new study, scientists claim that there might be a possibility of microbes hiding underneath the surface of the red planet. The new research, being carried on in the Outer Hebrides, states that the hydrogen formed from minor quakes on the red planet could provide a life-sustaining source of energy for some simple microbes.
The search for alien life in our Universe does not always have to involve study of extra terrestrial objects. Much of the study is conducted on Earth as well.
Recently, researchers have been studying rocks in some of the most remote parts of UK including the Outer Hebrides to get a thought of what the other possibilities of life on the red planet are.
A deep analysis of the rocks present on the islands of ‘Barra and Uist’, now suggests that minor quakes can possibly generate hydrogen in the Earth’s crust. This hydrogen found in the rocks has raised new hopes about the same processes that could be happening on Mars. The researchers believe if that does happen, it could be a potential source for life on the red planet. The findings were published in the September issue of the journal of Astrobiology.
‘Marsquakes’ have been known to occur on Mars and may have the same effect, scientists believe. “Earthquakes cause friction, and our analysis of ancient rock in the Outer Hebrides has demonstrated how this creates hydrogen.” said Professor John Parnell from the University of Aberdeen. He also added that Hydrogen is like an energy fuel for some simple microbes and they could live off the hydrogen that’s created in the Mar’s subsurface as a result of its seismic activity.
The model could be applied to any other rocky planet and we already know that on Mars there are “Marsquakes”, and its produced hydrogen could feed life in the Martian sub-surface. The scientists state that their analysis has found that conservative estimates of the current seismic activity on the red planet predicting hydrogen generation would be very useful to microbes. This adds to the possibility of far more suitable habitats that could support life in the sub-surface of Mars, reports dailymail.
Nasa already plans to measure the seismic activity on Mars during its InSight mission that is to be launched in 2018. If tremors are observed, the data would offer much more insight into the inner structure of Mars. Scientists hope that it would reveal the formation of planets in the solar system and whether or not alien life exists underneath the Mars’ surface. ‘Our data will definitely make those measurements more interesting,’ concluded Professor Parnell.