Little Green Men or Just Little Microscopic Organisms? The question of life on Mars is a puzzle that has plagued many minds throughout the world. Life on Mars, though, is a reality. When you think of Martians, you think of little green men who are planning to invade Earth and destroy all human life, right? Well, some do and some do not. Though believing that there are little green men on Mars is just a fantasy, or is it? The kind of life that may have lived there is the kind you would never consider of giving the name 'Martian' to. They are small organisms such as microbes or bacteria.

Proof of this was found in a meteorite containing the fossils of the microscopic organisms intact. Two highly regarded chemistry professors from Stanford, Claude Maechling and Richard Are, dissected three meteorites that were about 2 to 8 millimeters long and found trace elements of a big mum bo jumbo word- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. That pretty much means that there once was a warmer climate and maybe even lakes or oceans. Life on Mars is now a real idea.

The climate of Mars about 3. 8 billion years ago was much similar to the young Earth. Microbes and bacteria probably sprouted everywhere in the warm and wet climate. Although now we only see a cold red planet, which was probably due to a collision of an astroid that would have set back the evolution process of Mars, causing it to be a harsh planet. A Viking spacecraft which landed on Martin 1976 found that the planet was bathed in ultraviolet radiation, 'intense enough so it would probably fry any microbe we know on this planet,'s ays Jack Farmer, an Ames researcher who calls himself an ''-a searcher for fossils on other worlds. The redness of Mars is due to the chemical assault known as oxidation, which turns iron compounds into rust, and it would surely kill anything that sticks its head up.

'So why do you still believe that there is life on Mars?' you say. Life on Mars is not located on the ultraviolet radiation oxidized surface. The microbes are found below it, probably located in the boiling hot springs, or in frozen time capsules. Life here on Earth are located in some strange places so why wouldn't the Martian microbes be found in strange places if they were trying to survive? Scientists have found bacteria here on Earth that were living inside rocks where they got all of their nourishment from the rocks and from some water.

Martians probably do the same thing. The Marsokhod, which is Russian for 'Mars Rover'- a six-wheeled vehicle about the size of a golf cart, with an arm for carrying a camera or other instruments, is planned to launch in 1998. The rover might actually find the truth that there was once life and that there is still life on Mars. Who knows, but what if the once ancient microbes or bacteria have evolved into little green men who are planning to invade Earth and destroy all human life? What if there was a whole colony of Martians in underground tunnels all over Mars? How did we evolve? From microscopic microbes, right? They may have evolved, too. When I read all of this I am reminded by a quote from a character on Jurassic Park named Ian Malcolm who said, 'Life finds a way.' Bibliography Chui, Glenda. 'Life on Mars II'.

[ web December 19, 1995. Davidson, Key. 'New Signs That There Was Life On Mars.' San Francisco Examiner. March 16, 1995.

Pg. A 2. SIRS Physical Science, Electronic Only 1995. Art. 104. SIRS Researcher CD-ROM, CD-ROM.

SIRS. Fall 1996.