Friday, March 06, 2009

Solar system's biggest volcano may harbor life

Mars' Olympus Mons, the solar system's tallest volcano (it's about 17 miles tall, three-times the height of Mount Everest here on Earth), may harbor two ingredients (we believe are) essential for life: warmth and moisture. (80beats)

Due Olymus Mons' (Latin for Mount Olympus) lopsided stance, a new study speculates it may have a water-logged clay base. And since the monster may have been active as recently as 10 million years ago, there may still be some warmth down there.

It's a long shot, but "the environment inside the volcano could give rise to lifeforms like those extremophiles found around geothermal vents in the Earth’s ocean floor, where organisms developed despite the dark and the heat."

Meet Olympus Mons and some of sister volcanoes…


(Image courtesy NASA)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.