Mary Beth Wilhelm at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California and Georgia Tech , a co-author of the report on Nasa's recent finding that there is liquid water on Mars, came to Google's Mountain View campus and gave a talk today. Had a bit of star-struck moment (no pun intended) as I wanted to become an astronomer as a child.
The presentation started with what kind of attempts we have been making at the red planet and how they came to determine there is water there. Lots of chemistry and geology details which I must admit I only followed partially yet super fascinating. It was interesting to learn they are trying to test their theories by studying the driest place here on Earth, the Atacama desert in Chile. Now that we know there is water on Mars currently and there are lots of things suggesting the planet used to be much more like our own back in the days, it is only natural to at least consider the possibility that there may have been life there, a second genesis of life.
I was blown away by the breadth of the scientific knowledge went into this finding (it's not just all space talk, there is so much more) and their brilliance in dissecting all these information and arriving at this significant discovery. Saying what they do is impressive would be an understatement. It is invigorating. Cannot express how awesome it is to see the very brightest of our minds at work.
I've always had this belief that we cannot possibly be alone in this universe. But wasn't expecting to see any kind of evidence of it so soon.
This is a crazy time we live in. We may just see a life form (or at least remains of it) on another planet. Imagine that.