London, Jan 15 (ANI): Orbiting spacecraft and giant Earth-based telescopes have detected a haze of methane around Mars, which scientists say is a result of alien microbes living just below the soil of the Red Planet, first evidence that Martian microbes maybe still alive today.
Though some scientists reckon methane is also produced by volcanic processes, there are no known active volcanoes on Mars.
Furthermore, NASA has found the gas in the same regions as clouds of water vapour, the vital "drink" needed to support life. According to a report in The Sun, experts speculate that the methane is being emitted as a waste product by organisms called methanogens living in water beneath underground ice.
They would have to be alive today because the methane would otherwise have been lost from the Martian atmosphere, they added.
John Murray, a member of the Mars Express European space probe team, believes that the mini-Martians may be in a form of suspended animation and could even be revived.
He has found overwhelming evidence of a vast frozen ocean beneath the dust near the Martian equator where simple life could have thrived as microbes.
UK Mars expert Professor Colin Pillinger believes the methane can only point to the presence of life on the Red Planet.
"Methane is a product of biology. For methane to be in Mars' atmosphere, there has to be a replenishable source," said Professor Pillinger.
"The most obvious source of methane is organisms. So, if you find methane in an atmosphere, you can suspect there is life. It's not proof, but it makes it worth a much closer look," he added.
According to Britain's top space expert Nick Pope, the new evidence of life is "the most important discovery of all time".
"We've really only scratched the surface - it's an absolute certainty that there is life out there and we are not alone," he said. "If there is life on Mars, then the logical conclusion is that there must be life elsewhere too," he added. (ANI)