Images Stir Life on Mars Debate

Mars has turned into a red planet Rorschach test. Depending on who is doing the looking, pictures snapped by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) clearly show a world of big time biota, from fields of vegetation and towering Banyan trees, to blotches of bacteria. As MGS plods along on its scientific tour-of-duty, Mars does not shirk from its claim of being one weird world. It doesn’t matter whether Mars snapshots are examined by do-it-yourself interpreters or scrutinized by veteran planetary geologists. There is no doubt that there are strange doings on the red planet.