EMC12 EMC11 5 3 4 6Mars Society Switzerland
Mars Society Switzerland organised on Tuesday March 26th at 20h15, at Club 44 , in la Chaux-de-Fonds (Canton de Neuchâtel), a conference centered upon a presentation of Professor Michel Cabane. Michel Cabane is professor emeritus at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris), planetologist and specialist of extraterrestrial organic matter. He is co-PI of the SAM analytical laboratory ("Sample At Mars") aboard Curiosity.
Thème de la conférence: During his presentation, Michel Cabane, gave an update on the latest observations made by Curiosity. In particular, he showed why we can already say that Mars was habitable (see Geology pages ). Now the challenge is to know how long this habitability lasted and whether it was enough for the process of life to begin. In April 2013 no clear answer can be yet given on the fate of organic molecules on the surface of Mars. We could not yet identify any which implies that they have been (and are) destroyed, probably by perchlorates, ubiquitous on the surface of the planet. Pierre Brisson introduced the conference by presenting the motivations for the exploration of Mars (first page of the presentation above).
"Dernières nouvelles de Mars" via Curiosity
Conference (in French)
Conférence (in the frame of EMC13)
We now know that Mars was once habitable but we don’t know whether this was enough for the appearance of Life. We once had running water on the surface but it is now dry and we have perchlorate and hard radiations as well as a very low atmospheric pressure and a low temperature. Life could have developed or taken shelter underground. It could also have developed on the surface, taken shelter underground and come back onto the surface. But we found almost no free oxygen and production of methane is doubtful. It may be that Martian Life is extinct, almost extinct or sheltered in isolated caves or porous rocks or that it did not evolved beyond prebiotic matter. To get an answer we must analyze the most hydrated and therefore oldest surface terrains (Phyllosian clays) or dig down to underground levels sheltered from radiations, where temperature should be milder, water still liquid and pressure acceptable for transferring elements. In case we find “something”, we’ll have to check the relationship, if any, between Terrestrial and Martian life. Presentation by Pierre Brisson in the frame of EMC13 (Paris, Ivry-sur-Seine, IPSA, Friday Oct.25th 2013).
Mars Society Switzerland
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