Search Life on Mars in vain?

Mars has long been the object search another life beyond Earth. Not only that, "the red planet" is also one of the candidates to be human colonies, if one day the Earth no longer able to sustain life.

For this reason, the United States Space Agency (NASA) to spend billions of dollars to finance the delivery of Curiosity's mission. Vehicle or robotic rover was tasked to uncover the mystery of Mars.

However, instead of finding signs of life, the facts are revealed it was disappointing. In the hunt for evidence of past Mars as a warm, wet, clay deposits on the planet has been seen as an indication of the belief that there was once water on Mars' surface, which allows the development of life.

According to a recent study conducted on Earth, clays on Mars does not need a lake or water in the process of formation. Instead, it could simply be the result of volcanic activity. A condition that is not too friendly to life on the planet that is now barren.

A research team led by Alain Meunier of Université de Poitiers, France recently studied lava containing iron and magnesium, similar to clay identified on the surface of Mars. Studied clay derived from tropical coral islands in French Polynesian, Moruroa, the Pacific Ocean to the south.

The team's findings suggest that the same type of clay outcrop can be caused by fluid-rich magma in the volcanic environment, and not formed by water. The research results also correlated with the ratio (D / H) in the clay found in the Martian meteorite.

"To crystallize, clay needs fluids but not necessarily water. Consequently, the clay can not be used to prove that the planet is habitable or not," said Alain Meunier as published in the Christian Science Monitor.

In addition, the clay on Mars, its thickness can reach several hundred meters, and further demonstrate the movement of magma rising mass compared to the interaction with water.

However, do not rush to disappointment. "This new hypothesis proposes that the mineral is not formed during short periods and a reduction in the release of gas (degassing) magmatic, reducing the prospects for a sign of life in this setting," wrote Brian Hynek of the Department of Geological Sciences University of Colorado, in response to the paper Meunier et al published in the September 9 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

That does not necessarily mean that all clay Mars is not formed due to the interaction with water. Scientists are still hoping to Gale crater, where Curiosity is now located and is exploring.

Gale Crater, is strongly suspected as the site lake on Mars billions of years ago. Clay found there could have been formed by water.

According to the study's lead author, Bethany Ehlmann from the California Institute of Technology, there are certain characteristics of a texture to clay formed under different conditions. "Gale is a different flavor from Mars," he said.

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