Subterranean Life On Earth – and Mars?

"I do believe there is life inside the planet Mars, maybe 50 to 100 meters below the surface. But there is a long way to go to demonstrate that."

- Physicist Vittorio Formisano, Principal Investigator, PSF Mars Orbiter 

Microbiologist and atmospheric chemist, Penelope Boston, Ph.D., explores caves in New Mexico and Mexico looking for organisms (B&W inset is bacteria) that feed off a wide variety of minerals. Her evolving "Field Guide to Cave and Subterranean Microbes" might help in search for past, or present, life on Mars. Image © by Val Hadreth-Wether.
Microbiologist and atmospheric chemist, Penelope Boston, Ph.D., explores caves in New Mexico and Mexico looking for organisms (B&W inset is bacteria) that feed off a wide variety of minerals. Her evolving "Field Guide to Cave and Subterranean Microbes" might help in search for past, or present, life on Mars. Image © by Val Hadreth-Wether.

March 4, 2005  Socorro, New Mexico - Last week at the first European Space Agency Mars Express Orbiter conference in The Netherlands, the Italian physicist Vittorio Formisano presented data about not only methane and water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, but formaldehyde. Small amounts of formaldehyde had also been reported by NASA and attributed to the oxidation and break down of methane.

 

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