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Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on MarsIt is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.
Document ID
19910031729
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Rothschild, Lynn J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: Icarus
Volume: 88
ISSN: 0019-1035
Subject Category
SPACE BIOLOGY
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other