“Are we alone?” is a very big question that people usually wonder when they look at the sky since thousands years ago. With that question, we have created a lot of movies, novels, stories, about UFOs, aliens and life in those stars above. Nowadays, with the highly development of science and technology, human are on their way to find out the answer for this question. Scientists have found many planets which have the potential to support life. However, it is the Earth’s neighbor, Mars, which has the biggest chance that life may exist on. In my opinion, I think we still have to go a long road to answer the question: “Is there life on Mars?” Mars is the fourth planet of the Solar System. It is the nearest planet to Earth.
Therefore, there are many similarities between two planets. For example, according to BBC (n.d.), Mars has the surface with mountains, valleys, volcanoes and the atmosphere above it; Mars moves around the Sun so it also has day, night and seasonal cycle which is similar to Earth. They also stated that Mars has 2 moons which are Phobos and Demois (BBC n.d.).
So Mars is considered as the most likely place where the evidence of life can be found. Throughout history, there were many evidences which were given to prove that there is life on Mars. Those proof mainly focus on the fundamental requirements for life: Water and atmosphere. Water is one of the most important elements which form life. In short, no water no life. Fortunately, the researchers from Discovery Channel (n.d.) have pointed out that Mars has a watery past. According to Discovery Channel (n.d.), great rivers, lakes or even oceans have existed on Mars.
Planet Earth: Fate of The Earth was a powerful, informative, and inspirational documentary. The narrator, Richard Kiley, progressed through many points about our precious earth including her beginnings, her slow deterioration by man as well as other factors, and theories as to her what could be her end. The beginning images of earth, approximately four million years ago, can be described a barren ...
Another important element is methane gas. Kenneth Chang (2013) stated that methane is the sign for the appearance of microbes, which means organism and life on Mars. From the telescopes on Earth and pictures from satellites on Mars, scientists came to a very important result that they have found plumes of methane on Mars’s atmosphere (Euronews 24 September 2013).
Moreover, according to Theguardian (Thursday 29 August 2013), Professor Steven Benner, a leading geochemist, has argued that life on Earth has the origin from Mars because an important element to the origin of life has been found on the surface of the Red Planet. They believe that life may be started on Mars and came to Earth on a meteorite (Theguardian Thursday 29 August 2013).
Those evidences above make many peoples excited and hopefully that they can come to live on Mars someday. However, with the development of science and technology, scientist has performed more research about Mars with many modern space crafts. From that, some surprise facts have been revealed.
Firstly, it is about the water on this planet. We all knew that Mars used to be a watery planet. However, according to Discovery Channel (n.d.), it has become a cool and dry planet because Viking- the first lander on Mars found no sign of liquid water on the surface of it. Discovery Channel (n.d.) stated that Mars has water vapor in its air but because of the thin atmosphere, water vapor becomes unstable and the rain cannot happen. They also claims that lots of water has turned into ice (Discovery Channel n.d.).
The huge ocean that used to appear on Mars has become vast frozen sea that lies under the surface. If we can heat Mars from inside it, the ice may melts and we will have water. Unfortunately, we cannot. Because of those reasons, Mars has no water on it desert-like surface. Without water, nothing can lives on this planet.
The second problem is the lack of methane gas on Mars. As we have known, methane has been observed on Mars by scientists since 2003. In 2011, they sent a spacecraft which named Curiosity to make sure about this theory. According to Euronews (24 September 2013), the rover has a mission in 2 years in order to search for signs of life on the Red Planet and to help us know more about it. However, in the latest news, they announced a fact which surprised many researchers: there is no methane on Mars (Euronews 24 September 2013).
... maintain the hope of finding water, which might mean that life exists on the planet. Atmosphere Mars probably developed its atmosphere by spewing gases from its ... a hydrogen haze. Beneath the haze the atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium with some methane and ammonia ice crystals. Moons Two ...
This has reduced the chance that life could exist on Mars because methane is a very important element that forms life. According to Kenneth Chang (2013), with this conclusion, some scientists have more proofs for their point. For example, Professor Sushil K. Atreya from University of Michigan said that there is no evidence for any life process on Mars and methane just was not there (Kenneth Chang 2013).
There is an assumption that can explains the failure of Curiosity. Like the scientist used to say, long time ago, methane was once existed on the Red Planet. However, the powerful ultraviolet light of the Sun and the chemical reaction in the atmosphere have destroyed it (Kenneth Chang 2013).
The methane molecule has broken apart, disappeared for many centuries and so was the life on Mars (Kenneth Chang 2013).
Thirdly, the environment and atmosphere on Mars are not suitable for human. Mars may be the most similar planet to Earth in the Solar System, but the condition on it is still far different from Earth. The distance between Mars and Sun is much further than Earth so the temperature of Mars is also much lower. According to Bob the Alien’s Tour of the Solar System (n.d.), it can increases or decreases very quickly between -133 ◦C and 55◦◦C and the average is only -63◦C. At -133◦C, even the toughest people from Alaska cannot survive.
We also cannot breath on Mars because the atmosphere in here is full of the poisonous gas Carbon dioxide (Bob the Alien’s Tour of the Solar System n.d.).
Furthermore, this atmosphere is just 1% as thick as Earth (Discovery Channel n.d.).
On our planet, the very thick atmosphere prevents the ultraviolet rays from the Sun so it can not harm us. We are very lucky because according to (Bob the Alien’s Tour of the Solar System n.d.) this very dangerous light can cause skin cancer. On the other hand, with the thin atmosphere on Mars, we will be grilled on the surface of it. Another problem is the gravity.
Plants are the only organisms that can convert light energy from the sun into food. And plants produce all of the food that animals, including people, eat. Even meat. The animals that give us meat, such as chickens and cows, eat grass, oats, corn, or some other plants. Plants make oxygen One of the materials that plants produce as they make food is oxygen gas. This oxygen gas, which is an ...
According to Discovery Channel (n.d.), the gravity of Mars is about 38% of Earth’s, which is very weak. There is no conclusion yet but the scientist think that this weak gravity may has bad effect on the muscles and bones of human (Discovery Channel n.d.).
It seem like the condition on Mars is terrible for human. There are still many peoples who are protecting their point about life on Mars because they have their own reasons because. According to Kenneth Chang (2013), the absence of methane does not mean Mars did not have life because many organisms on Earth do not produce methane gas. Besides, Discovery Channel (n.d.) also adds that we can grow plants and foods in the green house on Red Planet based on the high rate of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and the long daylight time.
This solution can helps the atmosphere becomes thicker. Therefore, there will be more oxide, more water and less ultraviolet rays on the surface of Mars. In conclusion, life may exist on Mars in the past or in the future. However, at the moment, with many reliable evidences about water, atmosphere, methane gas, environment, we can conclude that there is no life on Mars.