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Life On Mars Impossible? Red Planet Is Too Dry To Host Life, Study Suggests

Nov 15, 2016 04:00 AM EST

Mars has been a primary target in the search for life outside Earth. However, a recent study revealed that the Red Planet is incredibly dry and that there is no way it could host life on its surface. The findings just threw cold water on theory of life on the Martian planet.

"Evidence shows that more than 3 billion years ago Mars was wet and habitable. However, this latest research reaffirms just how dry the environment is today," said lead author Christian Schröder, from the University of Stirling in the UK, in a statement.

"For life to exist in the areas we investigated, it would need to find pockets far beneath the surface, located away from the dryness and radiation present on the ground."

How dry is mars? According to IFL science, the researchers estimated the chemical weathering rates of Martian rocks/meteorites located on a plain south of the equator known as Meridiani Planum, by looking at the data from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Results showed that today it takes 10 to 10,000 times longer for rocks to be eroded on Mars because of the lack of water on the planet. The level of moisture in the atmosphere of Mars is much less than the moisture present even in the driest places on Earth. As we might all know, to have any hope of life on Mars, water must be present.

Previous researches indicate that alien life may have arisen on Mars, probably within the first billion years of its formation, but its present condition suggests that the dryness of the planet might have wiped them out to extinction.

Furthermore, IB Times notes that the lack of rust on the meteorites on the Red Planet suggests that Mars has been going through a drought for millions of years.

The findings weaken the conclusions of a 2015 study which suggested that salty liquid water potentially flowed intermittently on present-day Mars.

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