Martian bugs` fossils

Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2009 - 10:19

London: The fossilised remains of Martian
bugs have been found on a meteorite that crashed into the
Antarctic some 13,000 years ago.

The comet, named Allen Hills 84001, was found in 1996 and
sparked a controversy with both NASA and then US President
Bill Clinton announcing the possible discovery of life from
Mars.

Initially, it was believed that the fossils were bacteria
from Earth that contaminated the meteorite while it lay in the
frozen wasteland.

But according to a leaked report from the US space
agency, scientists now believe the fossilised remains
originated on Mars, The Daily Mail reported

Using advanced High Resolution Electron Microscopy, which
was not available 13 years ago, experts looked specifically at
carbonate discs and magnetite crystals.

The scientists, led by Kathie Thomas-Keprta, concluded
that "unusual chemical and physical properties" in the
meteorite were intimately associated within and throughout
these carbonate discs.

This is evidence of interaction with water on Mars over
3.5 billion years ago, they said.

According to Dr Emily Baldwin, deputy editor of Astronomy
Now magazine, "Many scientists argued that what looked like
fossils in the meteorite were really caused by the explosive
event, such as an asteroid impact, that blasted the rock out
of Mars in the first place.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 27, 2009 - 10:19

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