NASA found Balls of Plastic on Mars (UPDATE: It's a hoax)

[update] It's a hoax, sorry. Meh. (Also: Die Merkus-Wasser-Story stimmt, die Plastikstory nicht.)

Gestern hat die NASA bekanntgegeben, dass sie Wassereis an den Polarkappen des Merkur gefunden haben: New Data Show Mercury Almost Certainly Has Buried Ice at Its North Pole. Finde ich fast langweilig, ich denke, dass Wasser ziemlich häufig auf anderen Planeten – oder besser: Brocken im Weltall – vorkommt.

Aber diese Meldung hier finde ich spannend: Curiosity untersucht grade eine Ansammlung kleiner Kügelchen und die sind aus Plastik. Plastik! Noch wichtiger: Das Mars-Plastik ist genau solches, das nur mit dem Einsatz von Petrochemikalien geformt werden kann, was stark auf Öl auf dem Mars hindeutet und dieses Öl ist bislang nur bekannt als Fossil ehemaligen Lebens und das wiederum heisst: Plastikkügelchen auf dem Mars könnten der Beweis dafür sein, dass es mal Leben auf dem Mars gab. Whoa!

The small spheres at Matijevic Hill have different composition and internal structure made completely of plastic. Curiosity's science team is evaluating a range of possibilities for how they formed. The spheres are up to about an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) in diameter.

Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars.

Mars Rover Curiosity Working At 'Matijevic Hill' (via /.)