At 1300 feet, Alien cave found in Italy with hints to life on Mars
Italy : An alien cave has been discovered in Italy at a depth of 1300 feet, an advance that may help scientists in detecting life on other planets like Mars.
Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University in the US explored the microbiology and geochemistry of the Frasassi Caves in central Italy.
A variation in the isotopic content of atoms in the mineral gypsum hints cave formation.
Not all gypsum is formed by microbes, but gypsum formed by microbes will have a different ratio of isotopes in the atoms, according to the study published in the journal Astrobiology.
The variation confirms active role of life in producing the gypsum.
"Using this cave environment, we provide a real-life field example of how we can detect life, past or present, on other planets," said Jenn Macalady, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Since Mars also have caves formed by volcanoes and fluids like Carbon dioxide and water, it is likely that the caves might have a hospitable underground environment for microbes to cling to.
"If we were to find a similar environment on Mars, we could use this particular biosignature to test for the current or past presence of life," Macalady said.