another Mars rock, EETA 79001

Subject: another Mars rock, EETA 79001
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 13:19:20 -0500 (EST)

Hello all,
I just found this announcement on the %net on the Times Daily website.  It
is a news announcement from Nov 1, regarding the possibility of past/present
life on Mars.  Perhaps you all have seen it.  I had not and thought it was
interesting.  I cut and pasted it from the website.  I apologize if you have
to scroll in order to see it all.  I don't know how to fix that by
reformatting it. This is the first time I tried to cut and past from a web
site.  I'm happy it worked at all.<G>   Barb       

More Life On Mars?
LONDON: The microscopic green men are back. Yesterday, British scientists
announced that they
found traces of organic matter--material that could be traces of living
organisms--on another Martian
meteorite. Astronomer Colin Pillinger and his colleagues at Britain's The
Open University said that the
meteor they had examined was millions of years younger that the one studied
by the NASA group in
August. That meteor, named ALH 84001, was determined to date back 3.6
billion years, while the
British find, EETA 79001, was formed just 180 million years ago. The age
discrepancy suggests that if
indeed life existed on the Red Planet, it continued for a long stretch of
time--and may even persist
today. Pillinger has actually been working with EETA 79001 for some time,
but re-ran tests on it when
the NASA announcement was made. Testing both meteorites, he found the key
evidence on both:
significant amounts of a carbon isotope called carbonate, which appears to
have been formed, on
Mars, from methane. Methane gas is a common waste product of microorganic
life. Said Pillinger:
"Whenever you come across organic matter, it is usually evidence of life."
But doubt remains whether
the matter was picked up on Mars, or during the stone's flight to Earth. Two
unmanned missions to the
planet are planned in the next two months; their itineraries are being
hurriedly modified. Perhaps to
accomodate a guest on the retun voyage. -- Frank Pellegrini