Friday, June 08, 2018

NASA says its rover found organic substances on Mars

Curiosity rover
NASA’s Curiosity rover has found traces of organic substances on Mars, but their source is yet to be established, NASA experts said at a news conference broadcast live on the agency’s website.

To identify organic material in the Martian soil, Curiosity drilled into sedimentary rocks that gradually formed billions of years ago from silt that accumulated at the bottom of an ancient lake in Gale Crater. Later, the rover analyzed them with its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite, which heats the samples to release organic molecules from the powdered rock. NASA said in a statement that some of the molecules identified by Curiosity include thiophenes, benzene, toluene, and small carbon chains, such as propane or butene.

Jen Eigenbrode of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said that the organic substances detected by Curiosity were not necessarily a sign of life, and might have a non-biological origin.
"Curiosity has not determined the source of the organic molecules," Eigenbrode said.

"Whether it holds a record of ancient life, was food for life, or has existed in the absence of life, organic matter in Martian materials holds chemical clues to planetary conditions and processes."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Only News

EL News

Blog Widget by LinkWithin