Organic matter found on Mars

     IMMINENT NASA is to reveal findings from its Mars mission

"The closer we look, the more we see that Mars is a complex, dynamic planet that - particularly early in its history - was more conducive to life than we might have previously imagined", said Williford, who was not involved in either study.

Finding methane in the atmosphere and ancient carbon preserved on the surface gives scientists confidence that NASA's Mars 2020 rover and ESA's (European Space Agency's) ExoMars rover will find even more organics, both on the surface and in the shallow subsurface. The findings add to evidence that the crater the rover landed in was once a lake and offer the tantalising possibility that it could even have supported life billions of years ago. The rover, they announced, had spotted organic molecules in ancient Red Planet rocks and identified a seasonal cycle in the concentration of atmospheric methane, suggesting that the gas is leaking from underground reservoirs. Over last three Martian years, which equals to about six years here on Earth, Curiosity found the amount of methane within the Gale crater has been changing with seasons, rising during warm summer days and falling during the winters.

NASA said that water-rock chemistry might have generated the methane, but scientists said they can't rule out the possibility of biological origins.

In fact, Curiosity isn't equipped to hunt for life; its main goal is to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbes.

While these two findings aren't definitive evidence of life outside of Earth, they take us a tantalising step closer to finally having that answer.

JPL's Christopher Webster, lead author on the study, said it's the first time Martian methane has shown a repeated pattern. The 96-mile crater, named for Australian astronomer Walter F. Gale, was most likely formed by meteor impact between 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. These salts can break down into oxygen and chlorine when heated at 200˚C and destroy organic molecules.

By themselves, the new results aren't evidence for ancient life on Mars; non-living processes could have yielded identical molecules.

The rover was able to heat the samples to between 932 and 1508 degrees Fahrenheit and study the organic molecules released through gas analysis.

Dr Eigenbrode said: "The Martian surface is exposed to radiation from space". 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.

Curiosity's methane measurements occurred over 4 1/2 Earth years, covering parts of three Martian years.

Methane's presence on Mars is puzzling, because it survives only a few hundred years at a time, which means that somehow, something on the red planet keeps replenishing it.

"While we don't know the source of the material, the fantastic consistency of the results makes me think we have a slam-dunk signal for organics on Mars", said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre. But methane can also be produced by normal geologic processes. "We know that on Earth microorganisms eat all sorts of organics", said Jen Eigenbrode, a biochemist at the space agency's Goddard Space Flight Centre.

"Are there signs of life on Mars?" asked Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters.

"The detection of organic molecules and methane on Mars has far-ranging implications in light of potential past life on Mars", she said.

Related News:

Most liked

‘Sons of Anarchy’ actor Alan O’Neill dies at 47
According to TMZ , the actor had suffered a history of heart problems, smoked heavily, and struggled with drug and alcohol issues. Mr O'Neill will be most familiar to Irish audiences for having played Keith McGrath on Fair City between 2006 and 2012.

Kate Spade Laughs, Jokes With Husband in One of Her Final Interviews
The deaths this week of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade come at at a time when new numbers from the U.S. The Oregon Health Authority has placed a particularly high priority on preventing suicides among children and young adults.

China Hacks Navy Contractor, Steals Submarine Data
The hackers targeted an unnamed firm under contract with the Navy's Naval Undersea Warfare. She said it would be "inappropriate to discuss further details at this time".

International Friendly Report: England v Costa Rica 07 June 2018
Jamie Vardy is another who may fall foul of Southgate's tactical preferences. As for the game itself, England put in a decent performance.

CONFIRMED: Harry Kane signs new SIX-YEAR Tottenham Hotspur contract
Mauricio Pochettino's side move stadium this summer and Kane can not wait to see Tottenham's support in their new home. He has scored a total of 108 goals in 153 Premier League appearances .

Is it Time for a Financial Check: Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI)
Livingston Asset Management (Operating As Southport Capital Management), Tennessee-based fund reported 93,239 shs. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 30th were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. (NYSE: KMI ).

500,000 router devices affected so far by VPNFilter Malware
In fact, VPNFilter is far worse than we thought both in scale and power according to a report from Cisco's Talos security unit. Cisco's new analysis shows that VPNFilter poses a more potent threat and targets more devices than was reported two weeks ago.

GOP leader McConnell cancels Senate's August recess
Democrats have far more incumbents seeking re-election this year, and keeping them off the trail could be to the GOP's advantage. Congress should abolish farm and green energy subsidies, and repeal the "buy American" rules on federal projects.

Basketball: Golden State Warriors beat Cleveland to sweep NBA Finals
No one else on Golden State had more than 11 points, with Curry only shooting 3-of-16 from the floor for that point total. Golden State would be the first team to be responsible for two sweeps, as the 1975 Warriors swept the Washington Bullets.

Doctor Saves Life Of Woman He Saw On HGTV
Signs of the disease include swelling, changes to one's voice and lumps like the one that Dr Voigt noticed on Nicole's throat. After he advised her to get a sonogram and a biopsy, she was tested by a local doctor and found to have thyroid cancer.

Jordan's king calls to review tax bill, but fails to dull protests
Further depleting Jordan's already poor in resources, the country hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Until Mulki took office, governments had repeatedly pushed back the increase in bread prices and tax changes.

IBF strips Golovkin of middleweight title
There have been reports Golovkin and Saunders are close to reaching an agreement to fight. Instead, De La Hoya sent an offer to Daniel Jacobs to fight on September 15.

Carbon bubble could trigger global financial crisis
The scientists warn that losses will be exacerbated if these countries neglect renewable energy in favour of fossil fuels. Additionally, stranding would take a higher toll on some of its main geopolitical competitors.

Roberto Firmino: Sergio Ramos is an idiot
Salah played a key role in the Reds' record-breaking run to the Champions League final . The injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold.

Stormy Daniels Sues Ex-Lawyer She Says Was ‘Puppet’ for Trump, Cohen
Finally responding back, Davidson texts, "100%" to which Cohen wrote back, "Thanks pal". "I don't believe Mrs. Sean Hannity's program to falsely deny the accuracy of the In Touch article", the lawsuit says.