Revision history for article: H.Rabb 2013-2018: Life on Mars - Visual investigation and implications to Planetary Protection.
Update 9th of March 2020: Added to chapter Stromatolites and Microbialitiesand to chapter Fossils on Mars. There is new publications by astrobiologist Vincenzo Rizzo and Barry DiGregorio. Rizzo in International Journal of Astrobiology, Cambridge University press, March 2020:
Why should geological criteria used on Earth not be valid also for Mars? Evidence of possible microbialites and algae in extinct Martian lakes. DiGregorio has written a new book:
Discovery on Vera Rubin ridge: Trace fossils on Mars?. The book has been reviewed by former NASA Viking Lander biologist Gilbert V. Levin.
There is also interesting new discovery concerning thiophenes molecule in Curiosity data, presented by Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Jacob Heinz, Universe Today, March 6 2020, Evan Gough: Curiosity Finds Organic Molecules That Could Have Been Produced by Life on Mars. However, the statement by Schulze-Makuch about sending astronauts to Mars to verify microbes moving, is very unthougthfull and irresponsible when considering planetary protection issues.
Update 22nd of November 2019: Added to chapter Stromatolites and Microbialities. Interesting article in Universe Today, November 20, 2019 Evan Gough Scientists Search for Ancient Fossils in Australia, Practicing the Techniques They’ll Use on Mars. NASA and ESA scientists are practicing the identification of stromatolite and microbialities fossils on Mars for coming Mars 2020 and ExoMars rovers. The practicing area is in Pilbara Australia, where are well preserved Earth stromatolite fossils. Well done Ken Farley, Mitch Schulte and Martin Van Kranendonk. But it is sad that the work of pioneers, Rizzo, Bianciardi, Cantasano, Noffke and several citizen scientists(Small, Rabb, ..) is ignored and reused without mentioning the origin. The discoveries have already been done long time ago by the pioneers from Opportunity, Spirit and Curiosity image archives. On September 2016 and March 2017 I had a mail exchange about Martian stromatolite candidates with professor Kranendonk who is now the Director of The Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Back on 2017 Kranendonk was sceptical about possible stromatolites on Mars on his reply to me, but now Kranendonk is now quiding storomatolite identification for Mars 2020 and ExoMars missions.
Update 17th of November 2019: Added to chapter Vikings. Curiosity rover has observed that the oxygen levels behave the same way as methane levels at Gale crater. They rise to higher level during spring and summer. The raise in oxygen levels is 30 percent. This could be a sign of photosynthetic life. Check for example the blue green material covering stones in these Curiosity Sol 1594 and 1596 images in my Mars photo library. And see the article Universe Today November 2019, Evan Gough Molecular Oxygen on Mars is Behaving Unusually Through the Seasons. A Sign of Life?. Original publication by Curiosity science team: Melissa Trainer(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) et.al, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2019: Seasonal variations in atmospheric composition as measured in Gale Crater, Mars. Quote from the summary: Geophysical and geochemical results have painted a picture of a formerly habitable planet billions of years in Mars’ past, and measurements of current processes provide indications that Mars may still potentially harbor habitable environments.
Update 25th of October 2019: There is an excellent new book To Mars with Love by Patricia Ann Straat, the co-experimenter of the NASA Viking LR Experiment. I have now read it. This book documents important period in history of astrobiology. The Labeled Release experiment by Gilbert Levin and Patricia Ann Straat was the first one to detect life on another planet. The book is well written and understandable also for people not having deep understanding of biochemistry. This book is a "must have" in the science bookshelf. Patricia kindly put my review to his book web-site( review by "Harry - Finland").Chapter The Vikings 1976 - Evidence for Microbial Life on Mars has now references to this book. There is also a good article by LR experiment principal investigator, Gilbert V.Levin in Scientific American blog 10th of October 2019: I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s.
Update 8th of October 2019: The person who removed my abstract, LPI Contrib. No. 2108, file 5063.pdf, Visual identification of Extant Martian life from the Mars Extant Life: What’s Next? conference is the director of the LPI, L.Prockter. How did she suddenly got the idea to reject this specific abstract from this specific conference, long time after approval? I had an email conversation with her and I demanded her to pay back the economic damage caused to me and my family by her rude action. During the communication we have now also directly observed how emails are blocked between certain persons and institutions. My emails went through to the director of the institute, but her replies and attempts to send email to me we rejected instantly by mail server. A phenomena which I have suspected several times last years in this Life on Mars study area. There was a workaround for a while, for communication between me and the director.
All the dirty games and threats against scientists and citizens which I describe in the chapter Colors in Mars , got once again confirmation. I had planned in the conference to give the whole 7 years of study results on a USB memory stick, 7 GB of data containing 4000 grouped and classified interesting images, for free to NASA Mars program office. The memory stick content is at least 10 times more than is presented on this Mars web site. But Prockter prevented this happening.
Summary of events: On 16th of September 2019 I got early indication in a mail from one of the orginizers, working on NASA Mars program office, that my abstract will be approved. On 19th of September my abstract was visible on meeting program web site. On 20th of September I booked and payed fligths(Helsinki-London-Dallas-Carlsbad) and hotels(Carlsbad and Dallas). On 24th of September Procter, who was not organizing the meeting, removed my abstract, without telling the organizers or me. The dates above are for time zone of Finland.
Changes 25th of September 2019: New information about my abstract, LPI Contrib. No. 2108, file 5063.pdf, Visual identification of Extant Martian life which had dissappeared from Mars Extant Life: What’s Next? conference web site. The abstract and related poster session was approved to the meeting by the meeting organizers. I am gratefull for them all. But afterwards an outsider person had removed my abstract and presentation from the meeting, without any informing of meeting organizers or me. Very dirty and hostile action by the outsider. I had to cancel my participation and flights and I suffered major economic losses because of the action by the outsider. I paid the travel reservations from our family savings, since in Finland there is no financial support for astrobiology activities. My poster presentation would have based on this material(link to photo folder) .
Changes 24th of September 2019: My abstract Visual identification of Extant Martian life ( https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lifeonmars2019/pdf/5063.pdf) has dissappeared from the agenda of NASA organized conference Mars Extant Life: What’s Next?. I contacted the conference organizers and they do not know the reason. They promised to arrange it back on the web site agenda.
Changes 20th of September 2019: My abstract Visual identification of Extant Martian life has been approved on the agenda of NASA organized conference Mars Extant Life: What’s Next?. It is kept in National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Carlsbad, New Mexico USA, 5th-8th of November 2019. Among the presenters and abstrat authors are several astrobiologists, whose work I refer here: Beaty, Schulze-Makuch, Eigenbrode, Lanza, Des Marais, Levin, DiGregorio, …. Nice to see even word paleontology among the abstract titles. One purpose of the conference is to plan the future MARS exploration for investigating extant life. One alternative could be to send a rover with better instruments back to Gale crater. The benefit would be that you don’t have to search candidates for life again in another location. You could drive the rover directly to places which have candidates for life, for example back to John Klein site (Curiosity Sol 186,270). The conference conveners are:
David Beaty Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech.
Michael Meyer NASA Headquarters
Penelope Boston NASA Astrobiology Institute
Mary Voytek NASA Headquarters
Brandi Carrier Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech
Changes 9th of August 2019: NASA has modified the Curiosity raw image archive web access http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw. The web access works well with Chrome browser, but the Sol selection fails with Microsoft Edge browser. See also interesting image of Curiosity Sol 2461 stone called Strathdon. Sedimentary layers caused with microbial activity?
Changes 3rd of May 2019: Added to chapters Colors on Mars: Kirsi Lehto, PhD, from University of Turku, Finland has written a new book Astrobiologia, published by astronomical association Ursa in 2019. In pages 182-189 she handles the possibilities of life on Mars. The issues and thougths are similar to observations presented in this study. This book by Kirsi is very good and up to date presentation of fundamental issues in astrobiology. Hopefully it is sometimes translated and published in english.
Changes 28th of March 2019: There is an interesting article published with 3 references to this study and Lyall Winston Small's study: R. Gabriel Joseph, Regina S. Dass, V. Rizzo, N. Cantasano, G. Bianciardi, Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews, 1,40--81, 2019: Evidence of Life on Mars?. In the article series this study is referred also in: Richard A. Armstrong Could Lichens Survive on Mars?. Also the director of NASA Astrobiology institute Penelope Boston is writing in this series: Location, Location, Location! Lava Caves on Mars for Human Habitat, and the Search for Life. Read also T.A.Krupa, LPSC 2017: Flowing water with a photosynthetic life form in Gusev crater on Mars .
Changes 22nd of March 2019: See the highly interesting abstracts of conference Mars Extant Life: What’s Next?. It is kept in National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Carlsbad, New Mexico USA, November 2019. I have submitted an abstract Visual identification of Extant Martian life (below) to this conference and now I am waiting if it is rejected or approved.
Changes 28th of December 2018: Reorganizing the content of chapters Microbes on Mars and new chapters Objects resembling lichens, Objects resembling fungi to have more logical presentation. Same reorganisation done on pdf downloadable. Added also link to a new image library Candidates for Lichens on Mars.
Changes 12th of December 2018: Added links to chapter Stromatolites: Vincenzo Rizzo, Nicola Cantasano, International Journal of Astrobiology, September 2016: Structural parallels between terrestrial microbialites and Martian sediments: are all cases of ‘Pareidolia’? , Vincenzo Rizzo,Maria Eugenia Farias, Nicola Cantasano, Daniela Billi, Manuel Contreras, Francesca Pontenani, Giorgio Bianciardi, Cell Biology 2015: Structures/textures of living/fossil microbialites and their implications in biogenicity. An astrobiological point of view and Giorgio Bianciardi, Vincenzo Rizzo, Maria Eugenia Farias and Nicola Cantasano, Astrobiology Outreach 2015: Microbialites at Gusev Crater, Mars. . The method by Rizzo, Bianciardi and Cantasano has been mathematical comparative analysis of images of Earth microbialities and corresponding Martian candidate microbialities, indicating that Martian microbialities are biological with 99.6% probability.
Changes 27th of November 2018: The NASA InSight landed on Mars Elysium Planitia on 26th of November 2018. It will be interesting to follow up seasonal changes on this equator area in coming years. The underground temperature measurements of Heat Flow Prope will be interesting. I have added an image composition to Mars Today image collection. Close to InSight there is an interesting rock. The color of sky is blue. InSight has 2 cameras. Instrument deployment camera with 45 degrees view. It can be moved to all directions. Instrument context camera has 120 degree view, pointing to fixed direction.
Changes 16th of November 2018: Added to Other interesting objects/Fossil forest?: A new paragraph based on note by S.Blomqvist(Finland).
Changes 12th of November 2018: Added to Appendix E: On 12th of November 2018 I presented this study in Helsinki Observatory, Finland. The event was the autumn meeting by Friends of the Observatory. Link to Finnish language slideset. The new slideset is an improved version of the presentation in SoCIA 2018 in University of Nevada( slideset ). The title "Astrobiologiaa Marsista ja seuraukset planeettojen suojelulle" can be translated as "Astrobiology from Mars and implications to planetary protection".
Changes 10th of October 2018: Added link to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics: On January 2018 Lisa M. Pratt was appointed as new planetary protection officer of NASA. Catharine A. Conley had the post during 2006-2017.
Changes 19th-8th of June 2018: On June 7th 2018, 2 articles were published by Curiosity teams in Science magazine. They confirm the existence of organic matter on surface materials of Mars and the existence of seasonal Methane cycle on Mars. Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, et all , Science June 2018: Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars. Read the last 2 paragraphs, where the possibility of current microbial life is discussed as an option. Christopher R. Webster et all, Science June 2018: Background levels of methane in Mars’ atmosphere show strong seasonal variations. Related popular writing is: Science alert, Mike McRae 7 JUN 2018, NASA Just Revealed Conclusive Evidence of Organic Compounds on Mars. And see on YouTube the NASA event 7th of June 2018: New Mars Science Results. On this video NASA scientist discuss the possibility for current microbial life on Mars openly. Read also related article by Italian geologist and environmental engineer Pietro Cambi, March 2017: There was life on Mars and not only on Saturday night ... (the link is a google translation of original Italian language article C'era vita su Marte e non solo il Sabato sera…). Cambi presents good arguments that the observed methane on Mars comes from biological origin. The abiotic hypothesis fail to produce the observed amount of methane by several orders of magnitude. I added Pietro’s article as reference to chapter Microbes on Mars.
Changes 30th of April 2018: Dispite of extinction level risk for life on Earth NASA and ESA have decided to bring samples, potentially containing alien Martian microbes, from Mars directly to Earth: Rosita Suenson(ESA), Dwayne C.Brown(NASA), Joanna R.Wendel(NASA), ESA and NASA to investigate bringing Martian soil to Earth. The weakest point of sample return mission is coming through Earth atmosphere. The risk of failure and accidental spreading of alien Martian microbes to Earth biosphere may be as high as 20%.
Changes 17th of April 2018: My presentation in Socia conference went fine. It was great to have Dr. Margaret Race from SETI institute in the audience. Here is link to slide set which I presented: https://photos.app.goo.gl/s9E8EcVGMrRbFmtj2. The discussion afterwards and established contacts are valuable. I had an unforgettable discussion with Dr. Race concerning planetary protection regarding Mars and Earth. General view of scientists was that we should not send humans to Mars. We must first solve ecological problems here on Earth before we colonialize and mess up other planets. This was brought up by great presentations by Lori Marino and Brian Green. The next Socia meeting will be in Mississippi 2020, and there is a preliminary plan to have Socia 2022 in Finland.
First slide of my slide set which I presented:
Changes 31st of March 2018: The Abstracts of SoCIA 2018 are now available. In the program select "PDF version of the program" to see them. I recommed to read excellent abstract by Margaret Race from SETI institute, on page 19. My abstract is on same page. Margaret writes: As SoCia researchers analyze Astrobiology from varied theoretical perspectives and non-science disciplines, they can come face to face with extreme situations and concerns that are no longer the realm of science fiction. Also her last statement is absolutely correct: The specific examples will include global catastrophic hazards and existential risks; long duration human missions beyond Earth orbit; and analysis of risks and potential biohazards posed by round trip missions to Mars. Read also abtracts by Erik Persson(Lund University), on page 18, Linda Billings(NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office) on page 6, Barry E.DiGregorio (University of Buckingham) on page 8, Brian Green (Santa Clara University ) on page 9, Jacob Haqq-Misra (Blue Marble Space Institute) on page 9, Gonzalo Munevar (Lawrence Technological University ) on page 17, and Michael Waltemathe (Ruhr University) on page 21. The abstract by these scientist handle issues which are important considering planetary protection.
Changes 6th of March 2018: The Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (
SoCIA 2018 )
conference in University of Nevada, Reno USA, 13-15 of April, is coming closer. I have presentation on 14th of April. Totally I have 44 slides, where I present the key issues of my Life on Mars web site. I will make the slide set public after Reno conference by publishing a link to the set on this web page. Back in 2013 I had made the first interesting observations from NASA Mars rover images and I was alone with the observations. In beginning it was difficult to get in contact with professional people who were able and who had the courage to discuss these issues. By year 2017, 8 professional scientists had been involved in mail discussions. And 6 other scientists with brief mail exchanges. Between 2013-2018 about 1000 emails have been exchanged on this subject. Now on 2018 things are proceeding well and it is a priviledge to get to present the results in SoCIA 2018. In Reno I do not expect everyone to agree with me. But it is good that we can start yes/no argumentation of the presented observations. Back in 2014 it took for me over 6 months of hesitation: Do I dare to present certain observations regarding past complex multicellular life on Mars?
The presentations by Margaret Race (SETI institute), Kelly Smith (Clemson University) and Erik Persson(Lund University), Pauli Laine (University of Jyväskylä) will be interesting to see.
Changes 10th of January 2018: Added new image collection Life on Mars Presentation - Rabb2018 and updated 2018 version of Life on Mars video on my YouTube channel .
Changes 6th of January 2018: New Curiosity Sol-1922 image in Mars Today image collection. Possibility for a trace fossil is discussed in article Leonard David, Barry DiGregorio, January 2018:
Curiosity Mars Rover Investigates Eye-catching, Odd Features.
Added to Appendix A References links to articles:
Universe Today, December 2017, Matt Williams, J. William Schopf , Just a Billion Years After the Earth Formed, Life had Already Figured out Plenty of Tricks . Direct quote: "After examining ancient rock samples from Western Australia, the team determined that they contained the fossilized remains of diverse organisms that are 3.465 billion years old. Combined with the recent spate of exoplanet discoveries, this study strengthens the theory that life is plentiful in the Universe.".
UNSW,december 2017, Deborah Smith: Living on thin air: microbe mystery solved. Quote: "A discovery that microbes in Antarctica can scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in such extreme conditions has implications for the search for life on other planets." .
Science alert, Michelle Starr, december 2017 , Mushrooms Played a Truly Surprising Role in Forming Our Planet's Atmosphere.
Science alert, Peter Dockrill , November 2017 Living Bacteria "From Outer Space" Have Been Found on The Outside of The ISS
Universe Today, Matt Williams , November 2017 Galactic Panspermia: Interstellar Dust Could Transport Life from Star to Star.
Changes 25th-30th of November 2017: Improved images in chapter Blueberries and chapter Astropaleontology. Added missing image identities in large number of images. The PDF article has major improvement in several images. These are result of ongoing preparation of slides to coming SoCIA 2018 conference. The finnish language Scribd-book and PDF downloadable are now up to date.
Changes 13th of November 2017: Added to subchapter Methanogen microbes in simulated Martian environment : Very interesting test was done by Dr. Vladimir S. Cheptsov and his group in Lomonosov Moscow State University: 100 kGy gamma-affected microbial communities within the ancient Arctic permafrost under simulated Martian conditions . See also news, Universe Today, Matt Williams , November 2017 : Life on Mars can Survive for Millions of Years Even Right Near the Surface . In the simulated Martian conditions tested microbes shoved good resistance to the high radiation levels of Martian surface.
Changes 25th of October 2017: This study has now been approved for the SoCIA 2018 Astrobiology conference in Reno, University of Nevada, April 2018. SoCIA = Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology. See Appendix E: Abstract for SoCIA 2018. Thank You Kelly, Carlos and Lucas! I see this acceptance as an acknowledgement of the work done by several involved scientists last years and even last decades. I am grateful to all people mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of Epilogue chapter.
Changes 24th of October 2017: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics link to article about fast adaptivity of bacteria to changing environments: Science Alert Oct 2017, Fiona MacDonald: One of The Biggest Evolution Experiments Ever Has Followed 68,000 Generations of Bacteria.
Changes 20th of October 2017: Added to chapter Colors in Mars: Professors Natuschka Lee and Asta Pellinen-Wannberg from Umeå University, Sweden, organized Astrobiology conference Life on Earth and in the Universe Current State & Future Visions in October 2017. The presentations had several interesting issues.
Changes 6th of October 2017: The SoCIA 2018 web-site has been opened. SoCIA = Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology, a conference in Reno, Nevada, April 2018.
Changes 17of August 2017: Added to chapter Publications by Science Groups: links to articles, August 2017, Peter Dockrill : Mars Probe Data Shows The Red Planet Is Hiding Water Where There Shouldn't Be Any and Icarus 2017-07-028, Jack T.Wilson Equatorial locations of water on Mars: Improved resolution maps based on Mars Odyssey Neutron Spectrometer data . Mars Odyssey data indicates water on equator areas of Mars. Consider following possibility: Martian life may have adopted hydrogen peroxide as intra-cellular fluid, which works as anti-freeze (see Joop M. Houtkooper, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, 2016: The Possible Role of Perchlorates for Martian Life). So Martian microbial life and fungi could bind liquid water at equatorial areas and that would be visible in Mars Odyssey data.
Changes 28th of July - 11th of August 2017: Added to chapter Colors in Mars: On July 20, 2017 NASA gave out positive statement about the coming SoCIA 2018 in Reno: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (SOCIA 2018). Direct quote: ..we are on the brink of one of the most important discoveries in human history. Should this come to pass, we will immediately confront a series of extremely complex challenges that cannot be resolved without strong input from disciplines other than the sciences. NASA is reorganizing the Planetary Protection Officer post, Universe Today 3rd of August 2017, Matt Williams: Need a Job? NASA is Looking for a New Planetary Protection Officer. Previous PPOs were John D. Rummel and Catharine Conley.
Changes 19th of May 2017: Added to chapter Colors in Mars: In May 2017 Dr. Kelly Smith invited Harry Rabb, the author of this Life on Mars web site, to participate the SoCIA 2018 conference: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology in University of Nevada, Reno USA, in April 2018. Dr. Smith is Professor of Philosophy & Biological Sciences in Clemson University. Read also interesting article by Smith, May 2016: Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of Prime Directive. In the first SoCIA 2016 meeting there was participants from NASA, SETI institute and several universities. Added new Appendix E: Abstract for SoCIA 2018.
Changes 26th of April 2017: Added to chapter Microbes on Mars , a reference to article: Peter Dockrill April 2017, The World's Oldest Fungus Might Have Just Been Found Buried Under South Africa. The oldest fossil remains of Fungi on Earth are 2.4 billion years old, a discovery by Geologist Birger Rasmussen from Curtin University in Australia.
Changes 26th of March 2017: Added to chapter Rock Varnish- Manganese coated rocks , a reference to article: David H. Krinsley, Barry DiGregorio, Ronald I. Dorn, Josh Razink & Robert Fisher, March 2017: Mn-Fe-Enhancing Budding Bacteria in Century-Old Rock Varnish, Erie Barge Canal, New York. Added at the end of chapter Microbes on Mars description of interesting species tolerating extreme conditions: Tardigrades. They tolerate temperature range -272 C..+150C. They tolerate pressure of empty space to 6000 atmospheres. They tolerate 5700 gray radiation dose, when humans are killed with 5 grays. They can suspend their metabolism and go into a state of cryptobiosis. New images in Mars Today image collection.
Changes 21st of March 2017: Added to Appendix D The Fermi Paradox , a new figure Model for birth of life on Milky Way galaxy based on panspermia mechanism.
Changes 13th of February 2017: Added to chapter Lichens in simulated Martian environment , the link to article by
Chelsea Gohd, February 12 2017: NASA Discovers an Organism That Can Survive 16 Months in Outer Space. Quote: "Scientists aboard the International Space Station (ISS) recently ran an experiment where they let algae loose into the vacuum of space for a full 16 months. And, surprisingly enough, the simple plants survived the harrowing journey. Despite extreme temperature variations, UV radiation, cosmic radiation, and incredible length of time, the algae were brought back aboard still alive.".
This means that Algae type life would easily survive in Mars.
Changes 5th of January 2017: Added to Appendix D The Fermi Paradox , the link to article by Patrick Rowan in January 2017 Skywatch: Can narcissism explain the Fermi paradox?. The Great Filter solution alternative is handled by Patrick in a very interesting way. And see Professor Nick Bostrom of Oxford University explaining the relation of The Great Filter solution of Fermi Paradox and the discovery of Life on Mars, 2008: WHERE ARE THEY?. Changes in text of chapters Colors in Mars and Epilogue. New images in Mars Today image collection.
Changes 17th of December 2016: Added to chapter Wheels and Deck of Curiosity the following article by Rhawn Joseph and Harry Rabb, December 2016: Contamination and Damage to the Mars Rovers by Martian Fungi and Bacteria. The Martian microbes and fungi may cause bio-corrosion on Mars rovers Curiosity and Opportunity. The microbiological problems and bio-corrosion is handled also in article by Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences doctors Natalia D. Novikova, Elena A. Deshevaya and Svetlana V. Poddubko, April 2016: Long-term spaceflight and microbiological safety issues. Read also: Irene Klotz, December 2016:Curiosity Finds Mars May Be Covered in Organic Materials . Fresh Curiosity results show that soil in Mars has large amounts of organic matter everywhere. Added to chapter Epilogue: Robert Walker has written good article about Planetary Protection and the need to change Manned Mars exploration program , October 2016: President Obama, Why Humans On Mars Right Now Are Bad For Science . New figure 13.10 and new images in Mars Today image collection.
Changes 3rd of December 2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics the following 2015 workshop report by M.Race, J.Johnson, J.Spry, B.Siegel and C.Conley: Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions . Also John D. Rummel participated the workshop. Hopefully the planetary protection officers Catharine A. Conley(NASA) and Gerhard Kminek(ESA), do good work in this matter. Added also the related article: Scientific American, November 30, 2016: NASA Outlines Planetary Protection Priorities. Added to chapters Mars meteorites and Colors in Mars year 2011 publication by Dr. Richard Hoover: Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites. Dr. Hoover is respected astrobiologists at NASA. Sol 1535 image added to figure 13.9. New images in Mars Today image collection.
Changes 18.11.2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics the following paragraph: Funded by European Comission there is EURO-CARES project , which is planning to build facilities for astromaterials potentially containing extraterrestrial life. Samples from Mars would be stored there. It is worrying to see this kind of preparations. See related article , Neel V. Patel November 17, 2016 Inverse: Alien Lifeforms Will Have an Apartment in Europe.
Changes 5th of November 2016: Added new Appendix D: Fermi paradox.
Check also article: The Globe and Mail, Ivan Semeniuk 27 Oct 2016 Ancient water from Northern Ontario mine may harbour ‘alien’ life . In 2.4 kilometer deep mine, there is water reservoir which may haveen isolated for 2.7 billion years. This water reservoir may have an isolated microbial community.
Changes 4th of November 2016: Added to chapter Colors in Mars the latest blog writing by Patrick Rowan, October 31st 2016: Searching for life, whether its microbes or megastructures. This is reference number 184.
Changes 1st of November 2016: Added to chapter Colors in Mars the following commentary:
In 2015 the otherwise very entertaining and good movie The Martian, gave an incorrect view of manned mission to lifeless Mars. It is good that there is coming a more realistic movie LIFE by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2017 handling the Planetary Protection concern if sample from Mars, with Martian life is brought to Earth. This way large public can easily understand the issues around planetary protection. I raise my hat to this new movie.
Changes 31st of October 2016: Added to Mars Today image collection, the high resolution versions of October 2016 Curiosity study items in Sol 1504. The low resolution versions are below. Also figure 10.3 is updated. Lately Curiosity team has investigated the white material occurences as the ones below.
Changes 27.10.2016: Figure 10.3 updated with Curiosity Sol 302 image in chapter Other interesting objects on Mars.
Changes 24.10.2016: Added to chapter The Vikings 1976 - Evidence for Microbial Life on Mars new article published October 1st 2016 in Astrobiology: Gilbert V. Levin and Patricia Ann Straat The Case for Extant Life on Mars and Its Possible Detection by the Viking Labeled Release Experiment. Dr.Levin and Dr.Ann Straat, get strong support from Chris McKay, PhD, Senior Editor of Astrobiology and an astrobiologist with NASA Ames Research Center in article: Mary Ann Liebert, Oct 18 2016: Microbial life on Mars: The possibility must be considered conclude researchers in Astrobiology . Gilbert and Patricia conclude in their article a recommendation for future Mars research: We strongly recommend that life-seeking experiments be considered for future missions. These should include the continued search for organic molecules of biological importance (e.g., amino acids, simple carbohydrates, lipids, DNA, protein); the conduct of further metabolic experiments, including a search for chiral preference in metabolism; the close examination of any tantalizing surface features; and perhaps even microscopic examination of martian soil with and without the addition of water or water vapor, reminiscent of the experiments of Antony van Leeuwenhock, who discovered the phenomenon of cryptobiosis approximately 300 years ago (Clegg, 2001).
I like especially including "the close examination of any tantalizing surface features", which is the main content of my visual study and also the content of studies by Dr. Lyall Winston Small and his friends in MRB.
Changes 19.10.2016: Figures 10.5B and 10.6 updated with Sol 1489 images. I moved the high resolution images of this web site to external shared Google Photo site Mars Images . There the images can be freely accessed and downloaded. In this way i get more free space in this saunalahti site to continue future updates. See also Mars Today image collection, which contains the essential images with best quality.
Changes 18.10.2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics new figure 12.7, the Maven results. Distribution of atomic carbon, oxygen and hydrogen around Mars. Clouds of Mars in ultraviolet light. On 19th of October, the
ExoMars by European Space Agency arrives to Mars. The Planetary Protection issues of ExoMars are taken care of by ESA Planetary Protection officer
Added also a link to article: National Geographic, Mark Strauss
October 17, 2016:
NASA’s Bold Plan to Hunt for Fossils on Mars to chapter Stromatolites
Changes 12.10.2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics article: Milton Wainwright, N Chandra Wickramasinghe, Christopher E Rose, Alexander J Baker 2014, Recovery of Cometary Microorganisms from the Stratosphere.
Changes 30.9.2016: Chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics handles now the two way traffic between Mars and Earth planned by billionare Elon Musk of SpaceX. How it is possible that Musk is allowed to break all the COSPAR Planetary Protection rules?
Changes 28.9.2016: I added new subchapter Chlorophyll and Fatty Acids observations in chapter Curiosity, Darwin, Vikings and Planetary Protection . The 2002 chlorophyll observations by Dr.Carol Stoker (NASA Ames Research Center) found in Mars Pathfinder mission 1997 data are handled. And fatty acids observations by Dr. Daniel Glavin in Curiosity data 2015 are handled. Both chlorophyll and fatty acids are strong bioindicators.
Changes 20.9.2016: I made a new YouTube video Life on Mars - Visual Investigation - Rabb2016 on my YouTube channel. It is now HD quality and bases to latest images. Length 11 minutes. The old year 2015 version was removed. Added Sol 1467 and 1456 images to figure 10.6.
Changes 14.9.2016: Added to
chapter Other interesting objects on Mars a new figure 10.5B.In Sol 1495 Curiosity images, Murray Buttes area, there is white material on shadow side walls. They are on top of the old geological formations.
Changes 8.9.2016: Added to chapter Stromatolites a link to article by Giorgio Bianciardi, Vincenzo Rizzo, Nicola Cantasano, 2014: Opportunity Rover’s image analysis: Microbialites on Mars?. This excellent article is consistent with Nora Noffke's Microbialities observations.
Changes 30.8.2016: Added to chapter Microbes on Mars?, to figure 3.13, Curiosity navigation camera images Sol 172 and 173. Added to chapter Stromatolites, to figure 6.4, Curiosity image Sol 1433.
Changes 25.8.2016: Added a reference to document
Lindsay Hays et al.: NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015.
In this 256 page document the one and only life detection experiment, Viking 1976 Labeled Release experiment, by Gilbert V.Levin, is mentioned only once, very shortly, page 156. Read also article Biosignatures on Mars: What, Where, and How? Implications for the Search for Martian Life by PhD. Frances Westall et all, Astrobiology Vol.15. CNRS-OSUC-Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, Orleans, France. Now this is freely readable when NASA opened its archives week ago. I added this reference to chapter Publications by Science Groups, under subchapter Biosignatures on Mars.
Changes 20.8.2016: Added to
chapter Microbes on Mars?, to figure 3.18, Curiosity Sol 1433 image.
In this fresh Curiosity image there may be similar blue lichens resembling object as
in Opportunity Sol 2144 area.
Changes 15.8.2016: In chapter Other interesting objects on Mars, figure 10.5, added images from Curiosity, Sol 1429. The wall near Curiosity has interesting cracks and possible flow traces under the cracs. Mini RSLs?
Changes 11.8.2016: In
chapter Wheels and Deck of Curiosity, figure 13.7, added image pair
from deck of Curiosity, Sol 1425. We see movement of an object during 3 minutes and 39 seconds.
Other stones stand still. But this one slides through thick dust layer.
Changes 5.8.2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics an article by Dr. Kelly Smith, May 2016: Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of Prime Directive. Dr.Smith is Professor of Philosophy & Biological Sciences in Clemson University. He is organizing conference SoCIA 2016:Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology about these issues in September 2016.
Changes 3.8.2016: Added to chapter Colors in Mars the second part of Gilbert V.Levin's interview by Patrick Rowan(USA), 2nd of August 2016: Patrick Rowan's Skywatch: Is NASA running away from life on Mars?. In this excellent article it comes clear that NASA scientiest are denied to publish evidence for life on Mars. And the main reason may be the "NASA Human mission to Mars", which is completely unethical in many ways when there already is life on Mars. There is several cases where NASA has forced scientist to withdraw their planned science publications of key evidence for life on Mars.
Changes 30.7.2016: Added to
chapter Microbes on Mars?, to figure 3.16, the Sol 1411 object, which Curiosity science team investigated closely.
Curiosity team: Well done!
Changes 25.7.2016: Added to chapter Microbes on Mars?, after figure 3.16, a link to Dr. Lyall Winston Small's new web site The Cosmos, Mars and Life, where he handles daily discoveries from Mars and also philosophical aspects of the discoveries.
Changes 12.7.2016: Added to chapter other interesting objects on Mars , Figure 10.2, the T-12 object, Opportunity Sol 4416, which was re-examined closely at Sol 4429 and 4430 (July 2016).. Details are interesting. Opportunity team: Well done!
Changes 5.7.2016: Added to chapter The Vikings 1976 - Evidence for Microbial Life on Mars an excellent article based on Gilbert V.Levin's interview by Patrick Rowan(USA), 5th of July 2016: Patrick Rowan's Skywatch: 40 years after Viking landing questions remain about life on Mars. The article by Patrick reached also Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology(BCAB) headline news.
Changes 20.6.2016: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics an excellent and comprehensive article by Robert Walker (UK), March 2016: Can We Risk Microbes From Human Crashes - On Mars? If Not, What Happens To Dreams To Colonize The Planet?. I agree with Robert. We should postpone all manned missions to Mars to distant future and instead continue the robotic missions with sterilized spacecrafts. Reason: Planetary Protection. Robert has presented this in The Space Show broadcast 7th of March 2016 Broadcast 2660 Robert Walker. Other presenters in The Space Show have been by current NASA Planetary Protection officer Broadcast 2663 Catharine Conley on 11th of March 2016 and on 5th of April 2016 by former NASA Planetary Protection officer and COSPAR Chairman: Broadcast 2679 Dr. John Rummel. Robert, thank you for important statements regarding planetary protection.
Changes 1.6.2016: Added Curiosity Sol-1355 round object to figure 4.2 in chapter Blueberries. Added Opportunity Sol 4382 microscopic imager image to figure 17.2 at the end of chapter References. Revealed underground soil has several interesting objects.
Changes 27.5.2016: Added to end of chapter Curiosity, Darwin, Vikings and Planetary Protection, an article by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, May 7, 2016: Evidence of life outside the Earth. Chandra Wickramasinghe and Sir Fred Hoyle were the pioneers and developers of modern Panspermia theories. In this article Professor Wickramasinghe gives a good view to current situation concerning extraterrestrial life.
Changes 19.5.2016: On Sol 1345 MAHLI images, Curiosity has driven over stones, which broke. Inside stones
there is interesting patterns of white material. And on the nonbroken part of stone
there is lichens resembling brown objects. Added to end of chapter
chapter Microbes on Mars, figure 3.19, the following Sol 1345 (19.5.2016) study object by Curiosity team:
Changes 16.5.2016: Added to end of chapter chapter Pinnacle island, a reference to article: 2015-5-15 R. Gabriel Joseph: A Low to High Probability of Life on Mars: The Experts' Top Five Candidates. Several of the fungitype objects in Mars, especially Blueberries, are evaluated by biologists and geologists in this article.
Changes 13.5.2016: Rearranging images, impacts to figures 4.2, 5.5, 10.5 and 17.2.
Changes 6.5.2016: New Lichen candidate images in figure 3.18. New images in figures 4.2, 13.9 and 17.3.
Changes 23.4.2016: Added to end of chapter Interpretation of the images article: New Scientist, 22-4-2016, Andy Coghlan, First direct evidence of ancient Mars’s oxygen-rich atmosphere. According to Agnès Cousin( Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in Toulouse, France) the Curiosity results show first direct evidence of oxygen rich atmosphere in Mars past. Oxygen rich atmosphere on a planet is a strong indication of biological activity. Thanks H.R. for the link.
Changes 6-17.4.2016: Added Curiosity Sol 1032 images of shell like objects chapter Other interesting objects on Mars,fig.10.3. Added Opportunity images Sol 142, 150, 1289 to chapter Blueberries, fig.4.2. The English and Finnish Scribd book versions have been updated. Added figure numbering, so that it is easier to refer to certain images.
Changes 30.3.2016: Added ChemCam Sol 1293 image of possible microbial colonies
growing on deck of Curiosity to chapter Wheels and Deck of Curiosity. Curiosity
science team has followed this for 450 days, since Sol 840.
Added Sol 1292 image round object in chapter Other interesting objects on Mars
Changes 23-24.3.2016: Added article Gilbert V. Levin 2016, Extant Life on Mars: Resolving the Issues to chapter The Vikings.. and to end of the chapter Colors in Mars. Added to chapter Perchlorate reducing bacteria and... an excellent article published in March 2016: Joop M. Houtkooper, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, The Possible Role of Perchlorates for Martian Life. The article presents a biochemical model for life on Mars in current conditions of Mars. With the model the atmospheric moisture provides enough liquid water for current surface life down to minus 70 degrees Celsius temperatures, and with sufficient level of water activity. Martian life may have adabted to use H20-H2O2 as cellular fluid. H2O-H2O2 works as anti-freeze.
The 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is in Texas March 21–25, 2016.
I added new subchapter
Perchlorate reducing bacteria and Biological potential of Gale crater subsurface
to chapter Publications by Science Groups.
Highlighted the abstracts in Sessions 451:
(Is there) Life On Mars? Martian exobiology tools, analogs, and environments,
Exobiology session 702 and
Exobiology session 603. And from these sessions following articles:
K. F. Bywaters and R. C. Quinn: Perchlorate reducing bacteria: Evaluating the potential for growth utilizing nutrient sources identified on Mars.
B. J. Rodriguez-Colon and E. G. Rivera-Valentín: Investigating the biological potential of Gale crater’s subsurface..
Z.R. Harrold, E.M. Hausrath, C.L. Bartlett, A.H. Garcia, O. Tschauner: Bioavailability of mineral-bound iron to a Snow Algae community and implications for life in extreme environments.
H. Yano, A. Yamagishi, H. Hashimoto: The first year operation and initial sample analysis and curation preparation of Tanpopo, the Japanese astrobiology experiment onboard the ISS-JEM-EF
Changes 14.3.2016: Behind the scenes there has been interesting events.
I Added to chapter "Planetary Protection and Ethics" a fresh publication about planetary protection.
About the writers: Dr. John D. Rummel was NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer until 2006.
He has chaired COSPAR’s Panel on Planetary Protection since 1999.
Dr. Catharine A. Conley has been NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer from 2006.
Dr. Margaret S. Race works for SETI institute, in field of planetary protection, especially Earth and Mars.
Mission to Mars: The Integration of Planetary Protection Requirements and Medical Support, 2016 by
John D. Rummel, Ph.D, Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Margaret S. Race, Ph.D, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA
Catharine A. Conley, Ph.D, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
David R. Liskowsky, Ph.D, Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
Changes 11-12.3.2016: Added to chapter "Stromatolites" the Sol 1276 (9.3.2016) images. Curiosity arrived to a place which seems to have a lot of objects resembling stromatolites. Curiosity stopped to investigate them with MAHLI and ChemCam.
Changes 22.2.2016: Added to end of chapter "Microbes on Mars?" link to excellent article by Robert Walker, 2015: Places on Mars to Look for Microbes, Lichens, ... . Added links to Mars Rover Blog discussion threads Yellowknife Bay and Mount Sharp - Extended Mission 1
Changes 20.2.2016: Added to chapter "Stromatolites" the Sol 1257 object as candidate
of currently alive microbial mats. Uplifted stromatolite chapter to more visible position.
Changes 15.2.2016: Added images of shell like objects Sol 132, Sol 551, Sol 3 and 692, in chapter Other interesting objects on Mars.
Changes 11.2.2016: Added to chapter "Stromatolites" a link and information about NASA research co-operation with Australian Macquarie University to compare the Pilbara region (Australia) microbial fossil formations with similar Mars formations: web-site by Dr.Simon George and Dr.Carol Oliver: NASA Macquarie University Pilbara Education Project.
Changes 6.2.2016: Regrouped all Stromatolite and thrombolite candidate images under chapter "Stromatolites".
Changes 5.1.2016: Added Sol 1185 image round objects in chapter Other interesting objects on Mars. The observation was done originally in Mars Rover Blog by Paul Scott Anderson.
Changes 1.12.2015: Added Sol 51 image to time series of possible microbial colonies growing on the deck of Curiosity in chapter Wheels and Deck of Curiosity.
Changes 29.11.2015: Using Gimp automatic white balancing for Curiosity color images Sol 304 and Sol 158 in chapter Microbes on Mars. New images at the end of References web page.
Changes 20.11.2015: Sol 1168 image in chapter Ice, Water and Moisture. Soil behaves like wet mud. More images white balanced with Gimp. Updated Scribd book version.
Changes 17.11.2015: The important website for Planetary Protection, the International Committee Against Mars Sample Return (ICAMSR) is functional again. Links updated. There is new version of "Life on Mars" video on my YouTube channel. Now it bases to latest images. Added link to Scribd book Lyall Winston Small, 2015: The Living Rocks of Mars (a good book on Martian stromatolites). The finnish langue PDF file of this web site was removed, since i exceeded the 100 megabyte limit of the current internet service provider. Instead the english PDF is available.
Changes 11-14.11.2015: Using Gimp automatic white balancing for Curiosity color images.
Changes 9.11.2015: Added Phoenix lander Images in chapter Wheels and Deck of Curiosity.
Changes 4.11.2015: I made a version of this web-page as a book in Scribd: Life on Mars - Visual Investigation.
Changes 3.11.2015: In chapter Other interesting objects on Mars: Added sandpile images from pdf version also to web version. In chapter Colors in Mars added last paragraph.
Changes 1.11.2015: Image updates in chapters Ice, Water and Moisture and Wheels and Deck of Curiosity.
Changes 29.10.2015: In chapter Other interesting objects on Mars: Added Opportunity Sol 2160 object with reference to Dr.Small's book 2012, In search of life on Mars.
Changes 27-28.10.2015: Rearranging images and new images in chapter Other interesting objects on Mars.
Changes 23-24.10.2015: Added to chapter Planetary Protection and Ethics the following links and discussion about their consequences to panspermia theory: Elizabeth A. Bella, 2015: Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon and UCLA Newsroom October 19 2015: Life on Earth likely started at least 4.1 billion years ago — much earlier than scientists had thought. New starting paragraph in chapter Colors in Mars. In chapter Visual evidence for Life on Mars added some speculation about Blueberries.
Changes 20.10.2015: New Opportunity color images in chapter Blueberries and chapter Pinnacle island. Done with ImageJ software from Red, Green, Blue originals.
Changes 18.10.2015: Updates regarding Stromatolites, Thrombolites and Blueberries. Added link about Earth stromatolites: Evolutionary research - Stromatolite Identification Site
Changes 14-17.10.2015: I have had discussions with Dr. Lyall Winston Small. I added links to Dr. Small's publications to the end of chapter "Microbes on Mars?": 2015, On Debris Flows and Mineral Veins - Where surface life resides on Mars and 2012, In search of life on Mars. And i added new chapter for Blueberries.
Changes 12.10.2015: Modified image "Fungi on Earth" in chapter "Microbes on Mars?". Added YouTube link to 28.8.2015 Dr. Gil Levin - 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention in chapter "The Vikings 1976 - Evidence for Microbial Life on Mars".
Changes 1.10.2015: Added NASA paradigm change 28.9.2015 : Salty water exists in liquid state in Mars today. And there is moisture in air. Makes life on Mars today much more probable. Planetary Protection taken by NASA more seriously.
Hundreds of updates between 2013 and 2015.
Page created 1st of October 2013.
Link to front page
Below is Opportunity Sol 88 image. Opportunity has grinded this stone. On the ground and on the stone there is Blueberries. Note that some blueberries on the stone have a stem! Fungi? Also note the blue round stain in the area where Opportunity has grinded the yellow stone.
Sol 1381 image below: Note that there is broken and fallen stones under areas, where the stone wall has fresh looking white material .