Hungarian researchers reported that a Martian meteorite called ALH-77005, discovered more than 40 years ago on the territory of Antarctica, contains a good part of mineralized biosignatures, which include cocciform, filamentary structures, as well as organic matter. The article with the most important discovery was published in the pages of the scientific publication Open Astronomy.
As Ildiko Gyollay, an employee of the Research Center for Astronomy and Earth Sciences in the capital of Hungary, said, the work of his team includes various branches of science, which is why it is of great interest to a wide audience.
"The results will be useful for planetary scientists, specialists in meteorites, and for studying the mysteries of life and even the most ordinary people who are not very close to similar topics, because they provide a completely new aspect of microbial mediation in stone meteorites," explained the scientist.
The Achondritic meteorite was found in 1977 by a Japanese research team in the Allan Hills area of Antarctica. The cosmic stone rounded with a partially burnt surface turned out to be ingrown into the ice. Experts have determined that the age of the object is about 175 million years, while under the influence of solar radiation it has been located for three million years.
The analysis of a thin layer of a meteorite using optical and FTIR-ATR microscopy showed very unexpected results. The coccoid and filamentous structures, organic matter and biogenic minerals were clearly traced.
“Other features of the asteroid's biogenicity include a large negative δ13C and a high content of elements such as iron, zinc, phosphorus and manganese, according to the melting scenario as a result of a powerful impact interaction. Conducted research suggests the presence of microbial mediation on the Red Planet, ”experts say.