Microbialites on Mars: a fractal analysis of the Atehna's microscopic images

Bianciardi, Giorgio and Rizzo, Vincenzo and Cantasano, Nicola (2015) Microbialites on Mars: a fractal analysis of the Atehna's microscopic images. In: European Planetary Science Congress 2015. EPSC abstracts (10). UNSPECIFIED, pp. 852-853.

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The Mars Exploration Rovers investigated Martian plains where laminated sedimentary rocks are present. The Athena morphological investigation showed microstructures organized in intertwined filaments of microspherules: a texture we have also found on samples of terrestrial (biogenic) stromatolites and other microbialites and not on pseudo-abiogenic-stromatolites. We performed a quantitative image analysis in order to compare 50 microbialites images with 50 rovers (Opportunity and Spirit) ones (approximately 30,000/30,000 microstructures). Contours were extracted and morphometric indexes obtained: geometric and algorithmic complexities, entropy, tortuosity, minimum and maximum diameters. Terrestrial and Martian textures resulted multifractals. 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 1/2^8 , p<0.004. Our work shows the evidence of a widespread presence of microbialites in the Martian outcroppings: i.e., the presence of unicellular life on the ancient Mars, when without any doubt, liquid water flowed on the Red Planet.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: 500 Scienze naturali e Matematica > 500.5 Scienze spaziali > 500.5'072 Scienze spaziali - Ricerca (Ricerca spaziale)
Depositing User: Dr Nicola Cantasano
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 14:30
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2016 14:30
URI: http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/id/eprint/15560

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