February 27, 2024

NASA robot detects organic matter on Mars | Sciences

NASA’s Perseverance rover is close to completing its first major target on Mars. Image: NASA

Information about the discovery was published in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday (12), but the publication did not disclose exactly which or which molecules were found. Last year, NASA reported that the probe found signs of possible microbial life on Mars.

The material was found in Jezero Crater, where Perseverance landed in 2021, and indicates that the geochemical cycle of planet formation is more complex than previously thought.

The site was a lake billions of years ago, and the most accepted hypotheses to explain this result are: water-rock interaction, interplanetary dust deposits or meteorite collisions.

Illustration showing Jezero Crater as it would have looked billions of years ago if it were a lake – Image: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

The tool capable of performing this analysis has been named SHERLOC and allows for accurate mapping and mineral analysis of organic molecules. In all, SHERLOC had 10 targets to examine and all of them detected organic molecules.

The goal of the project is not only to better understand the formation of the star and its early evolution, but also to analyze the history of the geological processes that shaped Mars over time and to explain the possibility of the planet actually hosting life.

Compare images from the James Webb Telescope to its predecessor

In June, Perseverance found a strange formation on Mars: shaped like a “doughnut”. look here.