Home > Science/Astronomy > Antarctic Lake Vida Provides Clue To Alien Life

Antarctic Lake Vida Provides Clue To Alien Life

By Posted: 27/11/2012

The discovery of bacteria which thrives in a salty, ice-sealed Antarctic lake has strengthened the possibility of alien life on planets such as Mars.

Lake Vida, which is located in the region’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, contains no oxygen, is mostly frozen and possesses the highest nitrous oxide levels of any natural water body on Earth.

A briny liquid that is approximately six times saltier than seawater percolates throughout the icy environment that has an average temperature of minus 13.5 degrees centigrade (8 degrees Fahrenheit).

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The discovery of bacteria in an Antarctic lake strengthens the possibility of alien life on other planets (file picture)

 Dr Peter Doran, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, told New Scientist: “Lake Vida is a model of what happens when you try to freeze a lake solid, and this is the same fate that any lakes on Mars would have gone through as the planet turned colder from a watery past.

“Any Martian water bodies that did form would have gone through this Vida stage before freezing solid, entombing the evidence of the past ecosystem.”

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal (PNAS), and were co-authored by Dr Alison Murray and Dr Christian Fritsen, of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI).

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/27/antarctic-lake-vida-alien-_n_2198485.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

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