Part 2: Silicas – and Hot Springs? – Could Mean Ancient Life On Mars

“To be honest, what would surprise me the most would be if life never was on the planet Mars. That would be surprising and give us all some pause and make us wonder – why?”

- Dorothy Z. Oehler, Ph.D, NASA Johnson Space Center     

Dark “horse head” of Syrtis Major Planum rises at center of this Hubble telescope image of Mars. On the right side of that darkness is Elysium Planitia; on the left is Arabia Terra. Image courtesy Hubble.
Dark “horse head” of Syrtis Major Planum rises at center of this Hubble telescope image of Mars. On the right side of that darkness is Elysium Planitia; on the left is Arabia Terra. Image courtesy Hubble.

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February 27, 2009  Houston, Texas - Other scientists studying a completely different part of Mars in Arabia Terra have also discovered features they think are the residue of hot springs, largely based on the tell-tale oval rings that closely resemble hot springs in Yellowstone National Park and Dalhousie, Australia. In a recent issue of Astrobiology, NASA Johnson Space Center planetary geologists described one mound on Mars named Vernal crater that could be a dried up hot springs?

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