An “interesting” new discovery by Curiosity on Mars

Despite its years of service on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover continues to make fascinating discoveries. Recently, scientists have found something “interesting” in the data collected by the rover. These are the carbon signatures they discovered in the samples analyzed by Curiosity. These signatures may be “associated with biological processes,” according to a NASA statement.

As you must have understood, we are talking about “probable” evidence of the existence of life on Mars here. The scientists found them after examining 30 rock samples collected by the rover between 2012 and 2021. They detected individual organic molecules that are associated with life on Earth. These molecules contained isotopes of carbon 12 that are used by terrestrial organisms to metabolize food or perform photosynthesis.

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The study describing the discovery of these molecules was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,

origin of molecules

Researchers have a theory regarding the origin of the molecules found on Mars. According to this theory, ancient bacteria could have released methane into the atmosphere. Later, ultraviolet rays were able to convert this methane into more complex molecules that fell to the ground to be preserved in the rock.

According to Christopher House, a Penn State researcher and first author of the study on Earth, the processes producing this carbon signature found on Mars are biological.

no rain

Scientists remain cautious in the face of this discovery. For them, this is not yet definitive proof of the existence of life on Mars.

According to Paul Mahafi, former principal investigator of Curiosity’s SAM or Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, there are things on Mars that are very interesting, however, much more evidence would be needed to say that life has been identified.

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Thus, scientists will now try to find explanations or eliminate those that do not correspond to the finding. For that, you must have a vision that is not biased by what you see on earth.

As co-author Jennifer Eisenbrod, an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explains, the hard part is getting away from Earth and precession, and actually studying the chemical, physical and environmental fundamentals of Mars. She said you have to open your mind and think differently.

Source: futurism

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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