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TEM of Martian bacteria-like microfossils

TEM of Martian bacteria-like microfossils

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Evidence for life on Mars. Transmission electron micrograph of tube-like structures from a Martian meteorite which are possibly fossilised bacteria- like organisms. A scale in billionths of a metre (nanometres or nm) has been added. The structures seen here are about 1/1500th of the diameter of a human hair. The microfossils are about 3.6 billion years old and were found in meteorite ALH84001 which landed in Antarctica about 16,000 years ago. The meteorite was found in 1984. The "fossils" were discovered in 1996. It is still debatable as to whether these structures were formed by microorganisms or inorganic chemical reactions. Image is of a cast or replica of the meteorite.

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