April 2, 2013
I’m a huge space nerd, so when the discovery of perchlorates on Mars hit the internet over the weekend, I was pumped! Not only can perchlorates, which are a class of salts, serve as an energy source for potential Martian microorganisms, they are also a sensitive marker of past climate and can lead to the formation of liquid brines under current conditions on the planet. All this was discovered by the rover “Curiosity” on the martian surface, which touched down in August of 2012. While the instruments on Curiosity won’t tell us if microorganisms ever once infected Mars, however, this is the most definitive evidence yet that life could have formed on Mars, plus, it gives us another situation in which life could have started here on Earth. Check out the article here!