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British tabloid finds life on Mars. NASA disagrees.

A Wednesday article in the the Sun, a British tabloid, carried the headline 'NASA: Evidence of Life on Mars,' leaving scientists from the US space agency wondering if there's intelligent life in the Sun.

This August 2008 photo shows the NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's robotic arm with a sample of Martian soil. A Wednesday article in 'The Sun' reported that NASA had unveiled 'compelling evidence' for life on Mars, a claim that an agency spokesman called 'absolutely, positively false.'


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Despite recent media reports that NASA found evidence for life on Mars, the U.S. space agency says proof that we are not alone is still a ways off.

A Wednesday article in the U.K.'s "The Sun" newspaper entitled, "NASA: Evidence of Life on Mars," reported that the agency had unveiled "compelling evidence" for Martian organisms. But NASA officials and veteran Mars mission scientists say "no."

"This headline is extremely misleading," said Dwayne Brown, a spokesman for NASA based at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "This makes it sound like we announced that we found life on Mars, and that is absolutely, positively false."

IN PICTURES: Mars Spirit rover

The piece claimed that the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have been wheeling around the surface of the red planet since January 2004, found pond scum, which the paper calls "the building blocks of life as we know it."

"I think they have taken this stuff out of context," Brown said.

Such a discovery would truly have been groundbreaking, since pond scum, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, are actually a form of life themselves, not just building blocks for it.


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