TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
Research from two Caltech and MIT scientists casts serious doubt on life ever having existed—much less originated—on Mars by showing that the temperature on Mars has been below 0oC for the last 4 billion years. By comparing dates obtained from radio- and thermochronometers in Martian meteorites, the scientists were able to place limits on the average temperatures of the top few kilometers of the Martian surface. These limits allow the possibility of stable liquid water for a total of only a few million years. Further, the meteorites were never above the boiling point of water—even during the impacts that ejected them from the surface—illustrating that biological organisms can be transferred between Earth and Mars. This discovery provides further evidence that in the solar system, only Earth is capable of supporting life and that scientists should expect to find the remains of Earth-based life on Mars.
- David L. Shuster and Benjamin P. Weiss, “Martian Surface Paleotemperatures from Thermochronology of Meteorites,” Science 309 (2005): 594-97.
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