Martians may well have existed, and still be on the red planet – but not in any recognisable form, British scientists said today.
Scientists believe the discovery of minerals below the Red Planet’s surface is the ‘strongest evidence yet’ it may have supported life.
But far from hosting little green men, our celestial neighbour was likely inhabited by simple microorganisms.
A new study led by the Natural History Museum, with the University of Aberdeen, found that all the ingredients for life were present just below the planet’s surface for much of its history.
When meteorites strike the surface of Mars, they act like natural probes, bringing up rocks from far beneath the crust.
Looking at data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express spacecrafts, they analysed rocks and found they contain clays and minerals whose chemical make-up has been altered by water.