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Photographer's Note

Red River (Rio Tinto) is a small river in the province of Huelva in Spain, is born in the mountain near the village of Riotinto, which he named and empties into the Bay of Huelva, the red color is due to an acid with pH 2.2 that does not allow most forms of life in its waters. These waters contain many metals and too little oxygen making them a site with few conditions for the existence of life.
For centuries, the river red was considered a dead river, but in recent years have been found microscopic algae (plankton) on the surface, feeding on minerals and adapt to extreme habitats. Because of this NASA chose this river for investigation because of similarities with the planet Mars.
During the experiment, scientists and engineers from NASA, several U.S. universities and the Centre for Astrobiology in Madrid hope to show how robot systems could seek ways of life beneath the Martian surface. It is quite possible that there are bacteria on Mars underground, feeding on minerals in rocks containing iron and sulfur.
This project, lasting three years will search the waters of the Red River, forming a survey of the presence of any life forms in liquid water, such as whether to make a future mission to Mars, where water is known to exist in abundance below the surface.
This research team exploring the area around the river using scientific instruments designed for a future mission to Mars.
According to these scientists, this subsurface environment is the key to search for life on other planets.
In the case of Red River, believes that they are underground water and chemical energy, which provide the conditions to support life forms. Everything seems to indicate that the chemistry of the Rio Tinto and its biology may result from an underground chemical agent, biologically based, fueled by organisms that do not require oxygen to survive. If so, and whether or not discovered by this experience, this way of life underground would be a totally new life form.

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Additional Photos by Joao Correia (sogal) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 1121] (1794)
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