Blue Water Ice on Mars

Lots of pure water ice just 1m below the surface on Mars. This would certainly be useful when setting up a colony!

Image: Ville Ericsson

“Dundas and his colleagues hypothesize that the ice originated as snow, falling in waves over millions of years.”

Taken with the previous post about the possibility of ancient Martian oceans teaming with life, it is painful to think about the planet dying—eons of increasingly severe winters; organisms freezing and desiccating as seas became ice; millions of years of snow; the Martian atmosphere condensing, freezing and precipitating, settling in drifts hundreds of meters thick blanketing the planet…

Fossils found on Mars?

Small features have been found on the surface of Mars which are strikingly similar to Earth fossils of ancient worm- and mollusk-like creatures from 500 million years ago.

They may have formed as sediment filled animal burrows with fine particles. On Earth the matrix compressed inside the tunnel mineralizes into rock over millions of years. The ancient burrow casts, usually less than 5mm long, are later (hundreds of millions of years, later) sometimes exposed as the softer rock around them weathers away. They look like tiny squeezes of toothpaste.

“They look remarkably similar to Ordovician trace fossils I have studied and photographed here on Earth.”

“If not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?”

Stunning to think that Mars might have had oceans swarming with life…

…even more mind-blowing that by extension billions of planets around stars in our galaxy probably still do…

Image via Concept aliens by Ken Barthelmey