Aliens lived on Mars miles below planet’s surface, scientists suggest

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Life on Mars might have once existed miles beneath the planet’s surface, experts have claimed.

The Red Planet may have harboured extra terrestrials deep under ground as tons of thick ice was melted by geothermal heating, scientists said.

Dr Lujendra Ojha, of Rutgers University in the US, said: “At such depths, life could have been sustained by hydrothermal activity and rock-water reactions.

"So, the subsurface may represent the longest-lived habitable environment on Mars."

But experts do not predict green martians or ET like beasts on the rocky wasteland, but instead microorganisms that can thrive under the surface.

Researchers said ice could have been melted four billion years ago when the sun was about 25% dimmer than it is today.

This is when single cell organisms began thriving on Earth – despite the star's reduced power. The paradox has been put down to insulating gases or magnetic solar storms.

The same phenomenon might have happened on Mars – fuelled by radioactive decay processes within the rocky world.

Dr Ojha said: “Even if greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and water vapour are pumped into the early Martian atmosphere in computer simulations, climate models still struggle to support a long-term warm and wet Mars.

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"I and my co-authors propose the faint young sun paradox may be reconciled, at least partly, if Mars had high geothermal heat in its past."

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, sheds fresh light on a lingering key question in the history of Earth's sister planet.

The sun is a massive nuclear reactor that generates energy by fusing hydrogen into helium.

Over time, the sun has gradually brightened and warmed the surface of planets in the solar system.

About four billion years ago, the sun was much fainter. The climate of early Mars should have been freezing.

  • Intelligent life 'exceptionally rare' to exist on other planets, scientists say

But the "top soil" or regolith from asteroids pulverised to dust has ancient riverbeds, chemicals and minerals that show it was a waterworld 4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago.

On rocky planets like Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury elements like uranium, thorium and potassium generate heat via radioactive decay.

In such a scenario, liquid water occurs through melting at the bottom of thick ice sheets – even if the sun was weaker than now.

Even a warm, wet climate without a magnetic field, atmospheric thinning and a drop in global temperatures, would only have enabled flowing water at great depths.

And this is where life would have been found – if it ever originated, said the researchers.

The research will be a boost for believers who say the truth is out there.

A separate study recently claimed that the prospect of intelligent life like our own is very unlikely.

In fact, scientists at Oxford say there is a high chance that our existence is entirely flukey.

Experts said the unlikeliness of the series of "evolutionary transitions" that led to our existence is "exceptionally rare".

The paper, written by Andrew Snyder-Beattie, Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler and Michael Bonsall, said: “Our results corroborate the original argument suggested by Brandon Carter that intelligent life in the Universe is exceptionally rare, assuming that intelligent life elsewhere requires analogous evolutionary transitions.

  • Alien
  • Mars
  • Science

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