Salt water reservoirs on the red planet can sustain life in aerobic microbes.
Scientists from the California Institute of technology stated that the salt ponds, which are located under the surface of Mars, contain enough oxygen to sustain life in aerobic microbes.
According to scientists, in the past, Mars possessed a dense atmosphere. But the small size of the planet and the absence of a magnetic field led to its gradual depletion. At the moment, in the atmosphere of Mars contains only 0,14% oxygen, so the search of possible traces of life were focused on anaerobic organisms.
Later, the researchers found that in some regions of the red planet deep under the surface are the reservoirs filled with rich minerals with liquid water. In the new study, scientists have estimated the amount of oxygen that can be contained in them.
For this, the researchers calculated the ability of highly salty water, not freezing even on Mars, dissolve oxygen. In addition, they took into account the climatic history of the planet, in the end, showing that its hidden reservoirs capable of containing from 2.5 mmol to 2 Mol of oxygen for every cubic metre of liquid. Especially his concentration should be near the poles, where the temperature promotes the dissolution of gas.
According to scientists, the concentration of oxygen on Mars is hundreds of times higher than those required to sustain life in aerobic microbes.
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