View Full Version : What if the Mössbauer shows the spheres are Hemati

2004-Mar-03, 11:18 PM
They plan on placing the Mössbauer on a pile of spheres.What if the Mössbauer shows the spheres are Hematite? Would this mean the spheres were once living organisms, and through diagenisis they have become hematite?

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Mar-04, 05:42 AM
I imagine so, but I am by no means an expert.

Any biologists or people with chemical background here? :blink:

2004-Mar-05, 01:20 PM
When I was doing exploration geology for a mining company we found haematite in areas that were an estuarine environment - so I guess it is possible.

2004-Mar-06, 02:13 AM
Posible but not probable. But who knows we are talking about Mars not Earth.

2004-Mar-06, 02:20 AM
I never stated that is was probable, i did mentioned possible

2004-Mar-07, 01:10 AM
I understand. I agree with you.

2004-Mar-08, 01:41 PM
I may have missed something in the stories about the spherules, but if they are hematite, it seems that means nothing more than just that. Sometimes, iron concretions can form around some kind of organic material,like a fish scale, as I have seen in some work in California, but not always. Silicate minerals have been leached away, leaving almost pure hematite. If they are concretions. Oolitic hematite doesn't necessarily, if ever, mean that the sphere itself is biogenic. What I don't know is if a particular isotope of Fe is indicative of, say, a bacterial origin, as in the iron deposits of North America. At any rate, unless I missed something, a key to the spherules might be what is, or isn't, at their centers or in their internal structure. This also assumes processes such as we see on earth. It would be intriguing to see the hematite as a form of shell around an organism once having lived in a briny, iron-rich sea, with the iron serving the same purpose as calcium carbonate or silica.

2004-Mar-08, 09:24 PM
I would find it very strange if these spherels were hematite. It would suggest that they were once living organisms because hematite just does not take on that form here on earth. It usually takes on a hexagonal structure if it is not associated with biology??????

2004-Mar-18, 02:30 AM
Hematite forms in hexagonal formations, unless they have formed a fossil through diagenisis. These are not Hexagonal formations. The only thing that is left since they are hematite is a fossil they are fossils of some sort.

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/mars_...ies_040317.html (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/mars_blueberries_040317.html)

2004-Mar-18, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by errorist@Mar 18 2004, 02:30 AM
The only thing that is left since they are hematite is a fossil they are fossils of some sort.
The press conference when they announced that the area had been soaking wet, they said that the spheres were formed by expanding out, and pressing against the magnesium sulfate that it was growing in. This process would cause mostly spherical objects to form. They really don't have to be fossils.

Personally I am impressed that you called it correctly that these things were hematite. Nice going.

2004-Mar-18, 03:40 AM
It just doesn't make sense they are not hexagonal in form like on Earth if they are forming in the manner they are saying.

2004-Mar-19, 06:10 PM
With the latest report from NASA, it appears they are indeed hematite. So... what does this mean?

2004-Mar-19, 07:28 PM
Hematite forms in hexagonal formations, unless they have formed a fossil through diagenisis. These are not Hexagonal formations. The only thing that is left since they are hematite is a fossil they are fossils of some sort.Hematite takes over original bone material through diagenisis. It takes on the original shape of the host material.It can be any biological material.
It has also been found on Earth in fossilized microbes. The process is the same. They are saying the hematite is forming by a concreation process.In order for that to happen, it has to have a crystal hexogonal form to it with flat sides. Since the spheres are still erroding out of the host material they should still have that hexagonal shape to them, since they are not erroded yet. In fact, they are still spherical as they grind into them with the RAT.

http://www.minertown.com/market/roughrock/...obn20/index.htm (http://www.minertown.com/market/roughrock/dinobn20/index.htm)


http://www.soils.wisc.edu/~barak/virtual_m...useum/hematite/ (http://www.soils.wisc.edu/~barak/virtual_museum/hematite/)

2004-Mar-20, 01:45 AM
These spheroidal shaped samples are exactly what we found in the site of an ancient estuary in the desert of western Australia.

2004-Mar-20, 02:35 AM
Blessed is he who can not see but still believes. However, can you show me the proof? Were they fossils?

2004-Mar-20, 05:32 AM
I wish I could, I'll try to scan some images. But no these weren't fossils but chemical signatures of the estuarine environment.

2004-Mar-21, 12:43 AM
hematite is always hexagonal, regardless of its habit or origin. Oolitic, botryoidal, or whatever the form or habit, it is hexagonal. It can coat and ultimately replace shell material, taking on a psuedomorphic form, but it is still hexagonal. In the highly aqueous environment that it may have formed in on Mars, it may have formed as concretions around something biotic, but not necessarily. As a concretion, it could have grown more rapidly that surrounding precipitated minerals, "pushing them aside", or any number of similar processes. At any rate, processes alien to terrestrial ones need not be invoked just yet, and no biological activity needs to be associated with it in any form that it is found.

2004-Mar-21, 12:56 AM
exactly abyssalromaer, the haematite found in the palaeo-estuarine environment is chemical in nature - borne from the reducing environment therein. We found gold following similar patterns but no conclusive evidence of pyritic or gold plated fossils.

But it could be regarded as a sign of still water, that may have existed in the crater.

2004-Mar-21, 12:58 AM
So where are the hexagonal formations in these spheres?

2004-Mar-21, 01:17 AM
On closer inspection, using the scanning electron microscope, it was clear that there were hexagonal structures within the spheres (some had been split), a whole lot of interlocking hexagons, quite beautiful.

2004-Mar-21, 01:35 AM
Will they find the same on the martian spheres?

2004-Mar-21, 01:43 AM
absolutely no idea to be honest. I'd be very interested to see what kinds of structures that can be found with the Martian pyritic concretions.

2004-Mar-21, 01:49 AM
So how do you rule out biological origin for these spheres? Diagenesis hematite could have replaced an organism on Mars just as it does here on Earth.

2004-Mar-21, 01:52 AM
I am not ruling out anything, merely reporting on the study that I participated in, a few years ago in Western Australia...I am keen to know whats in these concretions as much as anyone else.

2004-Mar-21, 01:56 AM
Why don't scientists say anything about the possibility of fossils here if it can't be ruled out?

2004-Mar-21, 06:14 AM
I don't think anyone is ruling anything OUT. I am a good enough scientist to be able to put what i would like aside and expect the spherules to be what they are (as though it makes any difference what I want). They might well be fossils. If they are, then the start of the next phase of intellectual synthesis has been validated. If they are not some sort of fossil or chemical marker of life, then that is all that has been concluded. It doesn't damn the search for life on Mars or even in the material in which the spherules were found. Errorist, the practice of multiple- working hypotheses allows several lines of thinking to track side by side, each being weighed in light of new evidence, admittedly using earthly analogs and protocols right now, and the hypotheses are modifed or dropped as the evidence dictates. There just isnt much to favor the fossil line of thinking right now, at least not to me.

2004-Mar-21, 06:49 AM
I agree. I just want all theories to be explored before the difinitive answer.