Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Life on Mars likely claims Viking probe scientist

Yahoo are reporting that Gilbert Levin, a scientist who developed a life detector for the 1976 Viking probe, has said that "All factors necessary to constitute a habitat for life as we know it exist on current-day Mars".

Mr Levin has remained steadfast in his belief that his experiment in 1976 proved the existance of active microbial life in the topsoil of Mars, a judgement not generally accepted in the scientific community today.

In perusing rover imagery, Levin reports there is clear evidence for liquid water existing under Martian environmental conditions. "The images should be reviewed against the background of surface temperatures as varying from below to above freezing reported by both Spirit and Opportunity," he explained.

Levin points to the potential for mud puddles on Mars, showing an image of clearly disturbed martian soil after rover airbags bounced across Mars surface. Possible standing water and sinkholes can also be seen in rover imagery, according to his analysis. In some pictures, the often-discussed "blueberries, " tiny spheres of material, disappear as if submerged underneath mud-like surroundings, he added.
Full story here