Is there life on Earth's neighbouring planet Mars? This has been a subject of great interest for space enthusiasts for a very long time.
It looks like we could be one step closer to finding out the answer to this question as recent reports suggest that evidence of life on Mars actually landed on Earth in a meteorite in 2011.
According to a recent paper, that appeared in the scientific journal Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences, evidence of life may have arrived on Earth three and a half years ago aboard a meteorite that fell in the Moroccan desert, reports Universe Today.
It was apparently removed from the surface of Mars 700,000 years ago as a result of an asteroid collision. This "Tissint meteorite has internal features that researchers say appear to be organic materials," states the report.
Upon examination, the alien rock was found to have small fissures that were filled with carbon-containing matter. Several research teams have already shown that this component is organic in nature, but they are still debating where the carbon came from.
"Our conclusions are such that they will rekindle the debate as to the possible existence of biological activity on Mars – at least in the past," said Philippe Gillet, director of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne's (EPFL) Earth and Planetary Sciences Laboratory.
However Gillet added, "Insisting on certainty is unwise, particularly on such a sensitive topic. I'm completely open to the possibility that other studies might contradict our findings."