Microbialites at Gusev Crater, Mars.
|Giorgio Bianciardi1,2*, Vincenzo Rizzo2, Maria Eugenia Farias3 and Nicola Cantasano4|
|1Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Siena, Italy|
|2National Research Council-retired, Via Repaci 22, Rende, Cosenza, Italy|
|3Laboratorio de Investigaciones Microbiológicas de Lagunas Andinas (LIMLA), Planta Piloto de Procesos Industriales Microbiológicos (PROIMI), CCT, CONICET, Tucumán, Argentina|
|4National Research Council, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, Rende Research Unit, Cosenza, Italy|
|Corresponding Author :||Giorgio Bianciardi
Department of Medical Biotechnologies
University of Siena, Siena, Italy
Tel: +39 348 2650891
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received: September 28, 2015; Accepted: October 31, 2015; Published: November 03, 2015|
|Citation: Bianciardi G, Rizzo V, Farias ME, Cantasano N (2015) Microbialites at Gusev Crater, Mars. Astrobiol Outreach 3:143. doi:10.4172/2332-2519.1000143|
|Copyright: © 2015 Bianciardi G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
|Related article at Pubmed, Scholar Google|
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit investigated plains at Gusev crater, where sedimentary rocks are present. The Spirit rover’s Athena morphological investigation shows microstructures organized in intertwined filaments of microspherules: a texture we have also found on samples of terrestrial stromatolites and other microbialites. We performed a quantitative image analysis to compare 45 microbialites samplings with 50 rover’s ones (approximately 25,000/20,000 microstructures). Contours were extracted and morphometric indexes obtained: geometric and algorithmic complexities, entropy, tortuosity, minimum and maximum diameters. Terrestrial and Martian textures resulted multifractals, while terrestrial abiogenic minerals showed a simple fractal structure. Mean values and confidence intervals from the Martian images overlapped perfectly with those from terrestrial samples. The probability of this occurring by chance was less than 1/28, p<0.004. Our work show the presumptive evidence of microbialites in the Martian outcroppings explored by “Spirit”, confirming our previous results concerning the Martian outcroppings explored by Opportunity at Meridiani Planum: unicellular life was widespread on the ancient Mars.