Life on Mars

John Cherwonogrodzky jcherwon at dres.dnd.ca
Fri Aug 9 09:31:53 EST 1996


Dear colleagues:
     Thanks for the note about the September 16 issue of Science having a note 
on the micro-fossils from Mars. I'll be looking forward to reading this. 
     I wonder if it'll state how they know it's from Mars and how they know 
the rock is about 4 billion years old but was blasted about 15 million years 
ago. Could it have been a piece blasted from the earth that returned after a 
long orbit (aren't tektites formed like this?), could it even be from outside 
the solar system? I recall that one of the theories about how life started on 
earth was that it may have been seeded by material drifting from outside the 
solar system. 
     Other thoughts are that:
- Carl Sagan once did an assessment that given life began very shortly after 
conditions were suitable (i.e. there is almost no lag time) it is a very 
likely event
- articles in Discovery magazine show that Mars could have had conditions 
suitable for life  a long time ago. Unfortunately, without a strong magnetic 
field, the solar wind chipped away at the atmosphere until it is 1%, instead 
of the 10% it should be, that of the earth.

   So I'm wondering:
- could life have started first on Mars and then seeded earth following a 
meteorite blast?
- could earth have seeded Mars (and possibly other planets and moons), with 
life following a meteorite blast that struck our planet?

   Take care ...John



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