Rover finds 2 new life clues on Mars

08 June, 2018, 09:29 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • NASA news conference Mars announcement

The significance of the finding, however, is that the results show organic matter can be preserved in Mars surface sediments. Today, scientists are announcing they've discovered conclusive evidence that several organic compounds are indeed found on the Red Planet.

Methane in the martian atmosphere has been detected before, but only in isolated patches or plumes of higher concentrations, not in any repeatable pattern. The 2020 rover will include an advanced spectrometer to scan for organic molecules.

Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic molecules that look strikingly similar to the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. "It is not telling us that life was there, but it is saying that everything organisms really needed to live in that kind of environment, all of that was there". "And it makes us more confident that if biomarkers" - or direct evidence of biologic activity - "are there, we might find them". Its two-year mission will explore Mars to see if it's "geologically alive", or active below the surface.

"[Curiosity's] molecular observations do not clearly reveal the source of the organic matter in [Gale Crater]". On Earth, such carbon-rich compounds are one of life's cornerstones.

While we know that Mars was habitable in the past, the case demonstrates just how hard it will be to ever prove the existence of past life on its surface.

In a separate finding, Curiosity also detected that the small amount of methane present in the Martian atmosphere varies with the seasons.

ZTE reportedly signs preliminary deal to lift United States technology ban
That was a serious problem for ZTE because the company is heavily dependent on U.S. components for its smartphone business. ZTE has reportedly not yet signed the amended deal, but that seems like it's only a matter of time.

In addition to finding organic molecules in the rocks in Gale Crater, rover scientists are reporting another intriguing finding.

Powder from the rocks went into an analyzer on the rover called SAM that can determine what they were made of.

MIT News checked in with SAM team member Roger Summons, the Schlumberger Professor of Geobiology at MIT, and a co-author on the Science paper, about what the team's findings might mean for the possibility of life on Mars.

In 2013, it confirmed organic compounds in rocks in a deep part of the crater called Yellowknife Bay, said Jennifer Eigenbrode, who led the organic molecule study published in Science.

The European Space Agency's ExoMars rover will also arrive in 2021 and begin measuring the atmosphere and drilling up to two metres below the surface. Nearly exactly a year ago, NASA reported the discovery of such evidence in the form of an ancient lake that would have been suitable for microbial life to not only survive but flourish. Yet when NASA's twin Viking probes landed on Mars in 1976, their studies suggested something startling: Martian soil, it seemed, contained less carbon than lifeless lunar rocks. "But it doesn't tell us that life was there". Over time, a picture of the ebb and flow of methane on Mars has emerged. "Those organic molecules could have come from life".

On Mars, organic molecules could have been produced by some form of either present or past lifeforms. The new organic molecule findings are 100 times greater than those previously found on Mars' surface, according to the agency. Or it could be ancient, belched out billions of years ago by geologic or biological processes and then trapped in matrices of ice and rock that unfreeze when warmed by the sun. "If you can do this on Mars, imagine what you can do with analytical facilities available to us on Earth", he says.

Recommended:



Popular

Liverpool agree deal to sign Lyon's Nabil Fekir
Liverpool are reportedly on the verge of signing Nabil Fekir from Lyon in the summer transfer window. Les Bleus will take on the United States this weekend, in their final World Cup tune-up.

Val Kilmer Confirmed For Top Gun 2 Return
Last month, Tom Cruise confirmed that he was coming back for the Top Gun sequel , Maverick . No word yet if Kenny Loggins will return to the Danger Zone to provide for the soundtrack.

Facebook privacy-setting bug made 14 million users’ posts public
Starting today, affected users will begin seeing messages from Facebook that encourage them to "Please Review Your Posts". When people post to Facebook, the service suggests a default distribution for their posts based on past privacy settings.

Zverev's condition key to Thiem clash in Paris, says Wilander
Open runner-up Madison Keys advanced to the last eight without dropping a set, defeating Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-4. A thumping 135mph ace out wide wrapped up a one-set lead for the 24-year-old, who looked assured and dominant on serve.

Macron calls on G7 members to confront Trump’s trade policies
They may also seek redress through legal action at the World Trade Organization. Macron has previously accused China of pursuing hegemony in Asia.

Washington Capitals win first Stanley Cup in franchise history
The teams traded power plays early in the second, with Theodore tripping Oshie and Christian Djoos high-sticking Reilly Smith . Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has a 1.67 goals-against average and.945 save percentage the past three games.

New Apple tools to help parents manage kids’ screen time
The iPhone X's Animoji feature gained a few new characters, but all of the attention is on a new feature called Memoji . The rest are various upgrades to existing features like parental controls, Siri, FaceTime, Notifications and more .

U.S. and Top OAS Members Start Push to Suspend Venezuela
The draft resolution, seen by AFP, calls on members to reject the results of last month's "unconstitutional" Venezuelan election. Carlos Trujillo, the US representative to the OAS, said the region's firm stance against Venezuela was long overdue.

Putin visits his best buddy in the EU: Austria’s Sebastian Kurz
China-Russia trade has grown to $US87 billion ($A113 billion) in the past year, Putin said. TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood weighs in on Putin's visit to Austria.

Chinese tourist dies after eastern Ontario bus crash
An air ambulance was dispatched to the scene and Ornge officials warned that as many as 30 people were hurt, some seriously. According to her, on a scene there arrived emergency crews and immediately found the bus in the ditch near the highway.