Patterns on Mars indicate conditions favorable to life in the planet’s past

Patterns on Mars indicate conditions favorable to life in the planet’s past

Although such cracks have been previously observed on Mars, the patterns in them were hexagonal in shape.

When clay dries, it typically forms a square pattern, but when it goes through a repeated drying cycle, is exposed to moisture, and dries again, it forms a hexagonal pattern.

According to researchers behind a new study, the patterns suggest that Mars once had dry and wet seasons, just as Earth does today.

Water and drought provide the basis of life

According to researchers from the French National Science Center CNRS, such a climate cycle may have created favorable conditions for life on Mars in the past.

Alternating between wet and dry conditions helps control the concentration of the necessary chemicals that form the so-called polymers.

Polymers are long chains of carbon-based molecules. This includes nucleic acids, which are one of the chemical building blocks of life – at least on Earth.

“Cycles of changing water and drying conditions are beneficial and perhaps necessary for molecular evolution that can lead to life,” he says. “This is the first concrete evidence that the climate on Mars had such regular, Earth-like wet and dry cycles that could have supported life.” From the study Lead author William Rabin, a planetary scientist at the National Center for Scientific Research.

However, dry and wet cycles are not the only thing needed to form the building blocks of life. The correct atmospheric and mineral combination is also essential.

We don’t know yet whether Mars has them or not.

The fact that the building blocks exist does not necessarily mean that they will come to life one day.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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