CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (AP) – A four billion-year-old meteorite from Mars that caused a splash here on Earth decades ago contains no evidence of ancient, primitive Martian life after all, scientists reported recently.
In 1996, a NASA-led team announced that organic compounds in the rock appeared to have been left by living creatures. Other scientists were skeptical and researchers chipped away at that premise over the decades, most recently by a team led by the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Andrew Steele.
Tiny samples from the meteorite show the carbon-rich compounds are actually the result of water – most likely salty, or briny, water – flowing over the rock for a prolonged period, Steele said. The findings appear in the journal Science.
More details on Tuesday’s Borneo Bulletin