The Jerusalem Post recently published a piece speculating about the presence of Mars life based on recent discoveries with the Mars Rover. Research scientist William Rapin stated that he believes the hexagonal patterns that have been observed on Mars by the rover are the result of wet and dry periods on the planet. Rock, subjected to such conditions, tends to attract simple organic molecules that combine.
Think of these molecules as LEGO bricks that have the capacity to form RNA and DNA, the building blocks of life as it is so far understood.
The Mars Rover has observed hexagonal patterns which could be the key to discovering Martian life.
Based at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Toulouse, France, Rapin has stated that potential vestiges of times when life could have existed on the planet are recognizable. Scientists have known for years that Mars was once home to bodies of water, like rivers and seas, and quite possibly life.
The planet Mars has an interesting history, and the idea that it was once home to life has remained constant. It’s the fourth planet from the sun and has been the subject of writers’ and poets’ works for years. Named after the Roman god of war, evidently the Greek name Ares wasn’t going to stand once the Roman recreated science and history, Mars is an extra-terrestrial planet.
Extra-terrestrial means that world is made up of silicate rocks and metals. The first four planets in the solar system are comprised of these materials, and how much Earth and the other three have in common is still something scientists want to discover.
The idea of the canals on Mars captured the imaginations of science fiction writers. Edgar Rice Burroughs peopled the planet with red Martians, Green Tharks, and several other denizens for his hero John Carter to discover and battle.
Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli produced the first detailed map of Mars after observing a perihelic, closest to the sun, opposition of Mars. Schiaparelli called the features he saw “canali,” which quickly became called canals in the English language.
The U. S. Aeronautical Chart and Information Center showed canals on Mars in 1962 even though no close-up imagery had been captured. Many people wanted to know if life had ever existed on the planet.
John Carter Of Mars
The idea of the canals on Mars captured the imaginations of science fiction writers. Edgar Rice Burroughs peopled the planet with red Martians, Green Tharks, and several other denizens for his hero John Carter to discover and battle. The author wrote of a dying Mars where life was constantly challenged by warring people and a thinning atmosphere.
Other science fiction writers quickly jumped on the bandwagon and filled Mars with life. Leigh Brackett placed her series hero Eric John Stark, who had grown up on Mercury with apelike creatures. Stark was a combination of John Carter and Tarzan, Burroughs’ most recognizable hero. Science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein dealt with his version of Mars in several of his books.
Despite science ripping away the fragile veil of the fantastic, Mars hasn’t quite lost its luster. In the The Expanse series of novels and the Syfy/Amazon Prime Video television show, the planet is a big factor. Bobbie Draper, one of the larger-than-life characters in both series, captured the attention of both audiences. Draper was from Mars, and her life there was revealed.
It’s ironic that Disney’s John Carter, based on the Martian novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, didn’t fare well at the box office while The Expanse did well enough to transition from the Syfy network after three years to another three years at Amazon Prime Video.
The romance of Burroughs’ Mars, with a life fraught with danger and peril, was traded for S. A. Corey’s Mars blanketed with corporate greed and politics that usually ended badly for the heroes. Interestingly enough, our sources tell us Disney is now considering doing a John Carter television series.
Still, it’s hard to think about the Red Planet and not be excited about what will eventually be found there. Mars has captured the imagination of Elon Musk, who is planning on sending one-way colonists to the planet. The idea of Mars, and the life, or traces of life, that might be found there still stirs the imagination.