"Why Discovering Martians Could Be Disappointing" by Jing Wei for Nautilusby Nautilus
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Why Discovering Martians Could Be Disappointing: There are two kinds of extraterrestrial life with very different implications, by Tim Folger
Illustration by Jing Wei
While some scientists search for extraterrestrial life by landing rovers on Mars, launching telescopes into space, and scanning the skies with giant radio dishes, geobiologist Joseph Kirschvink thinks that the first telltale signs of alien life may be sitting on a shelf at a NASA laboratory, bundled in a Martian rock that conveniently fell to Earth.
On the wall of Kirschvink’s office at Caltech hangs a black and white photo of the meteorite. Radioactive dating shows that the rock formed 4 billion years ago, when Mars was a warmer, wetter place. It was propelled to Earth about 16 million years ago, after a meteorite impact blasted fragments of the Martian surface into space.
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