Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is There Really Extraterrestrial Life or a Man on Mars?

The media world is buzzing about whether or not we are really alone in the universe after recent images from Mars surface give the appearance of a figure walking on the Red Planet. The photographs, which were taken four years ago, by NASA's Mars Explorer Spirit are sketchy and blurred images at best. Some outlets claim the figure looks like a woman with an outstretched arm, others say it resembles Bigfoot. Others claim it looks like a man walking, sitting, or pointing and some descriptions dismiss it entirely as just an oddly misshapen rock. Since the Rorschach Test for Extraterrestrial Life on Mars has already been so widely discussed, perhaps we can put our opinions aside and look at the real issues these photographs present: What is the real likelihood that there really is extraterrestrial life on Mars? Why is the possibility of life on Mars so important, right now? The possibility of life on Mars is not entirely a new concept as it has received a sizeable amount of news and press coverage, particularly in the last two decades. A press release date August 7, 1996 from NASA reported that a NASA research team discovered the first organic molecules thought to be of Martian origin within a meteorite, called ALH84001. The meteorite, found in Antarctica in 1984, supplied indirect evidence for the existence of microbial life found in several mineral features and possible microscopic fossils of primitive, bacteria-like organisms.

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