Dry Valleys, Antarctica
A small, ice-free region at the edge of the Antarctic continent that is
among the coldest, driest places on Earth. Since it most closely resembles
the surface of Mars, it has become the scene
of intense activity by scientists testing life-science equipment bound for
the martian surface. The mats of hardy cynaobacteria
found inhabiting what, at first, appear to be the completely sterile Dry
Valleys offer hope that a similar resilent ecosystem might exist on the
Red Planet. They are also helping researchers to design instruments with
perhaps the best chance of success in the search for nearby extraterrestrial
| Taylor Valley, facing Suess Glacier
- Horowitz, N. H., et al. "Microbiology of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica,"
Science, 176, 242 (1972).
AND PLANETARY SCIENCE