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Martian Soil More Toxic To Life Than Before

Scientists have found that the soils on Mars are more toxic to life when combined with Mars’ UV rays. Scientists have long studied the potential organic molecules in the Martian soils and the presence of a great atmosphere and through various experiments, they kept suspecting that the findings could bring a new life on another planet in the space.

For a long time, scientists have hoped that there is the possibility of life on the Red Planet. It was confirmed that since Mars is a home to perchlorates that were discovered after the Viking Lander missions in the past four decades, there is a potential life on the planet. The discovery was more revealed by the presence of more advanced rovers on Mars.

The recent updates have divided the researchers on the right path to follow. Some argue that perchlorates are a strong indication of the likelihood of life on the Red Planet. The perchlorates work by lowering the freezing point of liquids and the components can also favor bacterial life. However, another group of scientists has opposed the arguments saying that the soil on the Red Planet are toxic and cannot sustain any life.

According to a group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Mars is not fit for human habitation as initially thought. The study discovered a toxic cocktail in the soil that is formed when the chemical compounds known as the perchlorates come into contact with UV rays. The findings from the study show that more explorations should be conducted to know if it’s possible to grow crops on the planet.

The findings show that the soil contains two elements, iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide that work together with the presence of perchlorates to amplify the toxicity in the soil. During the study, a bacterium which is found on spacecraft was immediately destroyed in a few seconds after exposure to the toxic soil.

According to Simon George, a professor at the University, since there is no ozone layer on the Red Planet, the UV rays penetrate deeper into the soils. The paper which was published in the journal Scientific Reports indicates what the researchers are likely to find in their future studies.