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NASA Finds Concentrated Batch Of Organic Molecules On Mars

NASA Finds Concentrated Batch Of Organic Molecules On Mars

So like the organic molecules, it's not an unambiguous biosignature. It's present in other places in our solar system that could host life, like Saturn and Jupiter's moons Enceladus, Europa and Titan. And if life does exist elsewhere, it may be very different or even form differently from how we understand life on Earth. Both studies resulting from the mission were published online today in the journal Science. Together, the researchers believe these findings to be "breakthroughs in astrobiology".

"Curiosity has not determined the source of the organic molecules", said Jen Eigenbrode of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is lead author of one of the two new Science papers. Even more compelling was the fact that these compounds seemed to have broken off even bigger, more complex "macromolecules" - substances found on Earth in coal, black shale and other ancient organic remains.

Naturally, the usual UFO fans have jumped on this and are suggesting it's probably aliens - or at least some sign of life on the Red Planet.

Big news from Mars today: NASA's Curiosity rover found ancient traces of organic matter embedded in Martian rocks and detected a "seasonal variation" in atmospheric methane on the Red Planet - an annual pulse of the gas, nearly as if something out there were breathing.

NASA now operates three orbiters and two surface rovers at Mars with a new lander - InSight - on the way. The 2020 rover will include an advanced spectrometer to scan for organic molecules.

"What the organic detections in the rock do is to add to the story of habitability".

But the scientists can not say what the larger molecules were or how they formed. The scientists took questions from the public as they revealed increasingly more information about Curiosity's latest developments. Drilling beneath the surface, rather than sampling what was on top like Viking did, also helped.

These chemicals might not mean a great deal to most of us, but to areologists (that's Martian geologists) it's an indication that the organic chemistry in Martian mudstone is extremely similar to our own.

Curiosity has detected organics embedded in the sediments of the "Pahrump Hills" area of Gale Crater. He points out carbon-rich meteorites and dust could generate the reported amounts of methane as they fell into the Martian atmosphere, and that the year-to-year periodicity is not wholly consistent with the timing of the Martian seasons. With five years of data from a single location, they now have answers.

A potential explanation for the seasonal Martian methane.

Dr Webster is also awaiting results from the current ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mission, which is orbiting the Red Planet, sniffing methane. But the origin of methane on Mars has always been debated. "To do that you either have to find an outcrop at the surface that has been recently exposed ... or you have to drill deep", she said.

"With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life". Then, the conditions would have been comparable to Earth. This is all written down: the Union Aerospace Corporation went digging around Mars-quite possibly lured in by the discovery of ancient organic material-one thing led to another, and they opened a portal to Hell.

While not direct evidence of life, the compounds drilled from Mars' Gale Crater are the most diverse array ever taken from the surface of the planet since the robotic vehicle landed in 2012, experts say.

NASA's InSight Lander, launched on May 5, will land on Mars on November 26.

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover snaps a self-portrait at a site called Vera Rubin Ridge on the Martian surface in February 2018 in this image obtained on June 7, 2018. For example, scientists want to know if it has "Mars quakes". She said the discoveries break down some of the strongest arguments put forward by life-on-Mars skeptics, herself included.

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