For the first time ever scientists have discovered a direct evidence that hints at presence of life on the Mars in the past. Researchers have discovered a gem stone called opal and believe that the gem stone can unravel the mystery of past and future of the red planet.
According to scientists, the precious gem stone came to earth when a meteorite collided with the Martian surface. The collision was so intense that a part of Martian stone reached our earth in 1911. Researchers at the University of Glasgow discovered the opal from 1.7 gram stone named Nakhla that was supplied by the Natural History Museum. Nakhla is named after the town in Egypt.
Researchers said that the size of opal obtained from the stone is very small, but what is significant is that they have found Opal — a special stone which scientists believe is linked with life. Opals are found on earth near hot water springs also, microbial life grows in these warm and humid conditions. According to professor Martin Lee, lead author of the research, opal can trap these microbes and preserve them for millions of years.
If Martian surface has opal that suggests water must have flown in the past and chances are very high that we can find microbes trapped in these opals — a legit proof of alien life.
“Closer study of Martian opals by future missions to Mars could well help us learn more about the planet’s past and whether it once held life,”said Lee of the University’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences.
Moreover, opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica and Australia is its largest producer. It is found in various colors ranging from white, grey, orange, red to even black. Opal has variable optical density; some are transparent while some are opaque.
The research appeared in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.