At the present time it is obvious that the red planet once had large lakes and rivers but the presence of water doesn’t prove life existed on Mars.
As a matter of fact, water in the form of a liquid is only one of the numerous other factors needed to support life. A report claims that researchers will have to explore other factors to determine how habitable the planet may have been once.
According to a recent study published in the Science journal, astrobiologist Pamela Conrad said the items that make a location livable consist of numerous things and sometimes it’s even possible that something you expect may act as a show stopper. Pamela Conrad was the deputy principal investigator for the instrument that was used on NASA’s Curiosity rover that discovered the remains of an enormous lake at the Gale Crater on Mars.
Also essential for sustaining life is a global magnetic field. This global magnetic field is produced by an internal generator in the center of the planet. The core of the planet should be filled with molten metal generating a shield which protects the surface of the planet against ionizing radiation. Also necessary would be a thick layer of atmosphere which would protect the planet from ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun and permit more moderate temperatures.
At the present time, Mars does not have any of these factors. Scientists are, however, still searching for clues on the planet that would make them believe these means of sustaining life were present on the red planet a very long time ago; about 4 million years ago, to be exact. Conrad said that life would require a combination of physical and chemical conditions being present at the right place in the right time. It’s difficult to discover whether those conditions ever existed in Mars’ past.
The scientist said her remarks are not made to understate Curiosity’s findings but just to clarify that more work needs to be done in order of confirming life ever existed on Mars and the study is a complex one that will need further analysis of all aspects of the red planet.