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.


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

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