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Water and the Search for Life on Mars

Water and the Search for Life on Mars by David Harland
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US$ 29.95
Mars has long been believed to have been cold, dead and dry for eons, but there is now striking new proof that not only was Mars a relatively warm and wet place in geologically recent times, but that even today there are vast reserves of water frozen beneath the planet's surface. As well as casting fascinating new insights into Mars' past, this discovery is also forcing a complete rethink about the mechanisms of global planetary change and the possibility that there is microbial life on Mars. David Harland considers the issue of life on Mars in parallel with the origin of life on Earth. At the time the Viking instruments were designed, it was thought that all terrestrial life ultimately derived its energy from sunlight, and that the earliest form of life was the cyanobacteria with chlorophyll for photosynthesis. It was assumed the same would be the case on Mars and that microbial life would be on or near the surface that the Vikings had sampled. In parallel with these NASA projects, the European Space Agency developed the Mars Express remote-sensing orbiter, which has detected traces of methane that may have been released by microbes.
Springer; September 2007
255 pages; ISBN 9780387293721
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Title: Water and the Search for Life on Mars
Author: David Harland
 
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