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Mineral globules on a Mars meteorite

Mineral globules on a Mars meteorite

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Minerals on a Mars meteorite. Macrophotograph of small mineral globules on the surface of a meteorite. The orange-coloured minerals are carbonates. Their structure and chemistry suggest that they may have been formed with the assistance of primitive, bacteria-like organisms. Tiny tube-like structures, possibly microfossils, have been found associated with these minerals. The meteorite, known as ALH84001, is thought to have originated on Mars and is about 4.5 billion years old. It fell to Earth in Antarctica about 13,000 years ago. If the scientists' conclusions are correct, this provides the first evidence of life having existed on another planet.

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