Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/16/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Discovery may lead to new theories of life on Mars, other worlds

A pocket of water some 2.6 billion years old recently discovered in an old mine in Canada two miles beneath the earth's surface. The discovery marks the most ancient pocket of water found by far, older even than the dawn of multi-cellular life. The remarkable find has raised new theories about similar oases that may exist on Mars, or on other planets.

Geoscientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar at the University of Toronto  and her colleagues have investigated deep mines across the world since the Eighties.

Geoscientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar at the University of Toronto and her colleagues have investigated deep mines across the world since the Eighties.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Water, microbiology, prehistory, Canada, Mars


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Water is able to flow into fractures in rocks, allowing them to become isolated deep in the crust for many years. These specimens then serve as a time capsule of what their environments were like at the time they were sealed off.

In gold mines in South Africa 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers) deep, scientists discovered microbes that were able to survive in pockets of water isolated for tens of millions of years.

These reservoirs were many times saltier than seawater, "and had chemistry in many ways similar to hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the ocean, full of dissolved hydrogen and other chemicals capable of supporting life," Geoscientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar at the University of Toronto says. Sherwood Lollar and her colleagues have investigated deep mines across the world since the Eighties.

Sherwood Lollar and her crew began to investigate copper and zinc mines near the city of Timmins in Ontario, Canada. "As the prices of copper, zinc and gold have gone up, mines now go deeper, which has helped our search for long-isolated reservoirs of water hidden underground," Sherwood Lollar says.

"Sometimes we went down in cages - they're not called elevators underground - that dropped us to the levels we wanted to go," she says. "Other times, we went down ramp mines, which have curling spiral roadways, so we could actually drive all the way down."

The scientists analyzed water they found two miles deep. Focusing on noble gases such as helium, neon, argon and xenon, the team acknowledged past studies analyzing bubbles of air trapped within ancient rocks.

Since these rare gases occur in distinct ratios linked with certain eras of Earth's history, these samples have been essential in tracking the planet's prehistory.

The scientists discovered the fluids were trapped in the rocks between 1.5 billion and 2.64 billion years ago.

"It was absolutely mind-blowing," Sherwood Lollar says. "These weren't tens of millions of years old like we might have expected, or even hundreds of millions of years old. They were billions of years old.

"We walked along what used to be ocean floor 2.7 billion years ago. You could still see some of the same pillow lava structures now seen on the bottom of the ocean."

However -- Sherwood Lollar emphasizes they have not yet found any signs of life in the water from Timmins. "We're working on that right now," she said. "It'd be fascinating to us if we did, since it'd push back the frontiers of how long life could survive in isolation."

"Finding life in this energy-rich water is especially exciting if one thinks of Mars, where there might be water of similar age and mineralogy under the surface," Sherwood Lollar said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Green

Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic Hurricane season? Watch

Image of One impact La Nina has is a more active Atlantic hurricane season.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Goodbye El Nino! The monster heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific has abated and experts now believe a La Nina event, the cool sister of El Nino, will come to dominate the tropical Pacific for at least the next year to come. It has implications for the United ... continue reading


Scientists surprised by sudden eruption on Costa Rica volcano. Could the same happen at Mt. Rainier? Watch

Image of Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica has erupted without warning.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A volcano has erupted in Costa Rica with sudden ferocity, surprising experts who did not believe an eruption was imminent. The plume of ash from the volcano has caused flights to be canceled or diverted. Hundreds of people have reported to the hospital with reports of ... continue reading


Is a Mt. St. Helens eruption imminent? Here's the secret you're not being told Watch

Image of Mt. Rainier as seen from Tacoma. Is this giant awakening from a long sleep? Are the people prepared if so?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A researcher, who has studied volcanoes for decades, has reached out to Catholic Online to share new information about volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest. It appears activity is spiking in the region, and neither the public, nor geologists, may be fully ... continue reading


Eruption imminent? Mt. St. Helens quakes as magma rises Watch

Image of Mt. St. Helens steams in this image showing the new dome within the crater.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over the past month, we've warned about volcanoes, earthquakes, and what feels like a sudden uptick in global activity.  Although all of the activity seems to fall within "normal" levels, it is still above average and making people uneasy. Now, new reports show ... continue reading


SEE THE SIMULATION: There's a monster sleeping in Southern California and when it wakes, there will be hell to pay Watch

Image of Worse than any shaking, will be the devastation to infrastructure upon which tens of millions of people rely for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earthquakes are making the news, not because they're happening, but because they will happen soon, and they will be more violent than anything in recent memory. Great quakes threaten both the Eastern U.S. and the Pacific coast. Now a new revelation about the San ... continue reading


The Eastern U.S. rides atop a horrifying geologic secret. Are you sure you want to know? Watch

Image of The Eastern U.S. could have a major quake of its own, even larger than those that strike the Western U.S.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have a new explanation for why mysterious quakes strike the Eastern U.S. when no fault lines are present. The crust of the earth is falling away beneath your feet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Contrary to popular belief, Californians don't have a ... continue reading


Skinned alive and left to rot: 'I have no sympathy' (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Animals are inhumanely treated then killed in the name of fashion (TL McCormick).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Soft, cuddly, adorable little animals are slaughtered by the thousands in the name of commerce. One Russian fur farmer even admitted she felt satisfaction as she skinned some animals alive or injected them with lethal, but inhumane, drugs that slowly suffocate the ... continue reading


Thoughtcrime or free speech? Oil companies face prosecution for climate change denial, but should they? Watch

Image of Foolish to disbelieve in global warming? Perhaps. 

Criminal? No.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

At what point does it become criminal to promote an idea? Can any idea actually be off limits? These are questions that must be considered as the U.S. government begins a literal witch-hunt against climate change deniers and their corporate sponsors. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • $3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America
  • States revolt, 11 sue to block disruptive Obama restroom edict, ...
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, May 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • :-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 4:7-13
7 The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world is set firm, it ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2016 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have ... Read More