Persistence rolls over igneous rocks and organic matter is discovered

Astronomers used to believe they were sedimentary, but new data returned to Earth by the NASA Perseverance rover shows that the rocks on which it has been rolling since arriving on Mars in February 2020 are composed of volcanic material. are made. Maybe lava has flown there in the past and this is completely unexpected news.

It’s been almost a year now PerseveranceNASA’s rover landed on Mars. About a year it passes through Jezero Crater. And the data researchers use to send it back to Earth have just announced surprising news. According to him, perseverance will roll on the ground formed from the beginning magnetic rocks,

Even before sending their rover there, NASA researchers thought about the nature of the soil in this pit. He wondered if it was made of more sedimentary rocks or igneous rocks. First as a result of accumulation of mineral particles eventually transported there by an ancient river system. a. seconds as a result of the freezing of magma from one long extinct volcano,

It’s thanks to the Pixl tool – Planetary instrument for X-ray lithochemistry – that researchers have finally found the answer. The purpose of the instrument is to determine the elemental composition of the material. surface of mars by lithochemistry X-ray, and it takes advantage of the opening provided by the drill installed at the end of the arm robotic Why perseverance? It can, in fact, break or grind rocky surfaces.

Magmatic rocks in Jezero crater

A few days ago, a rock called Brak and taken south of the Sittah area revealed its structure: large crystals ofolivine Quite an unusual amount of pyroxene is encapsulated in crystals. Traces of rock formed from crystals deposited in a slowly cooling puddle.

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Researchers say that the rock in question was repeatedly beaten with water. “This makes it a treasure trove that will allow future scientists to date events at Jezero Crater, to better understand the period in whichwater was more common on its surface and to reveal the beginning of the history of Mars.”, specified team researcher Ken Farley in a press release from NASA. It remains to be determined whether it formed in a lake of olivine-rich rock. Make Thick cooling on the surface or in an underground chamber that has subsequently been exposed by erosion.

Because Persistence also aims to take samples of Martian rock – specifically to look for traces of life – it is intended to be brought back to Earth by another mission. What to study in more detail about the sample in question.

exciting first result

Researchers took advantage of a press conference on Wednesday to also remind us that a tool called Sherlock – for Scanning the habitable environment for organics and chemicals with Raman and luminescence – meanwhile captured organic molecules not only in decomposed rocks, but also in non-deformable rock dust. “Sufficient to map the spatial distribution of organic matter inside rocks and to link these organic matter Minerals that there are. This helps us understand the environment in which organic matter was formed. Further analysis needs to be done to determine how these molecules were produced., designates Luther the Beagle responsible for the Sherlock project. So as of now there is no certainty about the proof of life. But the presence of preserved organic matter seems to at least mean that potential biosignatures could have been preserved as well. To learn more, we’ll have to wait for the samples to return to Earth.

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In the meantime, scientists also continue to use the data transmitted by Rimfax – to Radar Imager for Mars Subsurface Experiment -, “radargram” showing underground structures red Planet Up to 10 meters deep. He has already made it possible to confirm that the Sita Kshetra was formed before that crater floor fracture rough, and they should bring other valuable information on this soon Geology Inhabitant of Mars.

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