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Tech & Science NASA Curiosity Rover Finds Building Blocks of Life on Mars

02:31  10 june  2018
02:31  10 june  2018 Source:   popularmechanics.com

China is building a brand-new space station, and it may be the latest move in a new space race

  China is building a brand-new space station, and it may be the latest move in a new space race China is building a new space station, and officials say the whole world is invited to participate. China's UN ambassador, Shi Zhongjun, recently invited the whole world to participate in the new space station.

Chasing Signs of Life , Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Building Blocks on Mars . NASA /JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Since 2012, the Curiosity rover has been exploring Mars near a place called Mount Sharp. The robot has found chemical traces that could indicate this place was watery billions of years

NASA "화성 대기중 메탄•암석 내 유기물 확인" NASA 's Mars Curiosity rover has made some startling discoveries. The Red Planet may have the building blocks of life

The Curiosity rover preparing to conduct a drill test at Mojave on January 13, 2015. © NASA/JPL-Caltech The Curiosity rover preparing to conduct a drill test at Mojave on January 13, 2015. NASA's flagship Mars rover, Curiosity, has been combing the surface of Mars for signs of life for almost six years. These hints of habitability, called biosignatures, can come in many forms-from unique sediment deposits to the abundance of certain gases in the thin Martian atmosphere.

One possible biosignature on Mars-or a sign leading to potential biosigantures-is the presence of organic compounds. Almost all molecules containing carbon are organic compounds, and these molecular structures are frequently produced and consumed by living organisms. There are other ways to produce organic compounds, so they are not a smoking gun for life-but they are an awfully good sign.

Life on Mars? Rover's Latest Discovery Puts It 'On the Table'

  Life on Mars? Rover's Latest Discovery Puts It 'On the Table' The identification of organic molecules in rocks on the red planet does not necessarily point to life there, past or present, but does indicate that some of the building blocks were present.Scientists for the first time have confidently identified on Mars a collection of carbon molecules used and produced by living organisms.

NASA 's Mars rover Curiosity has identified a variety of organic molecules, the carbon-based building blocks of life as we know it, in 3.5-billion-year-old Red Planet rocks, one of the The other new paper also details a Curiosity find : that methane concentrations in Mars ' atmosphere cycle seasonally.

Scientists reported today that NASA ’s Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed. “The question of whether life might have originated or existed on Mars is a lot more opportune now that we know that organic molecules were present on its surface at the time

And Curiosity just found an abundance of organic compounds on Mars.

Two studies (1, 2) published today in the journal Science solve past mysteries surrounding organic compounds on Mars. The first study found several new organic compounds in samples of ancient Martian mudstone that is roughly three billion years old, while the second charted seasonal fluctuations of one of the most basic organic compounds: methane.

The mudstone samples analyzed by Curiosity came from Confidence Hill and Mojave, two sites near the base of Mount Sharp in Gale crater. Curiosity drilled samples of mudstone in a region that is thought to have been a lake about three and a half billion years ago. The rover heated the Martian soil to above 500 degrees Celsius and analyzed the compounds released in the gases with its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. Numerous organic compounds were discovered, including thiophene, 2- and 3-methylthiophenes, methanethiol, and dimethylsulfide.

Building Blocks of Life Found on Mars

  Building Blocks of Life Found on Mars Two landmark discoveries reveal organic carbon on the red planet, shaping the future hunt for life on Mars.This engineering marvel, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, has revolutionized our understanding of the red planet. And thanks to the intrepid rover, we now know that ancient Mars had carbon-based compounds called organic molecules—key raw materials for life as we know it.

From its blood-like hue to its potential to sustain life , Mars has intrigued humankind for thousands of years. Learn how the red planet formed from gas and dust and what its polar ice caps mean for life as we know it.

NASA 's Mars Curiosity rover , slowly making its way up the side of a towering mountain of sedimentary rock at the center of its Gale Crater landing site NASA announced Thursday the nuclear-powered rover has detected a variety of organic compounds. These organic compounds, a requirement for life

The researchers, led by NASA biogeochemist and geologist Jennifer Eigenbrode, note that because the organic molecules differ by just one carbon sidechain, they may be fragments of larger and more complex molecules. Eigenbrode says that fact strengthens the evidence that the region in Gale crater could have been habitable in the distant past.

a close up of a map: This illustration shows the ways in which methane from the subsurface might find its way to the surface where its uptake and release could produce a large seasonal variation in the atmosphere as observed by Curiosity. © NASA/JPL-Caltech This illustration shows the ways in which methane from the subsurface might find its way to the surface where its uptake and release could produce a large seasonal variation in the atmosphere as observed by Curiosity. Eigenbrode told Popular Mechanics in an email:

"The organic matter in the ~3.5 billion-year-old lake sediments could be from life, but it is not evidence of life since non-life processes could have also created organic matter that ended up in these rocks. Meteorites and geological processes can form organic molecules and are additional possible sources for the organic matter we found. [But] even if life was not present in the ancient lake, the organics could have been food for life and thus are considered another ingredient for supporting life. The finding reinforces the idea that the ancient lake was habitable, but we don’t know if it hosted life."

  NASA Curiosity Rover Finds Building Blocks of Life on Mars © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Additionally, Curiosity has been conducting in-situ measurements of methane in the atmosphere for three Martian years, or 55 Earth months. Previous trace amounts of methane have been detected on Mars, but the source of the gas which is produced in abundance by life on Earth-remained a mystery.

NASA loses contact with Mars rover in huge dust storm

  NASA loses contact with Mars rover in huge dust storm NASA's Opportunity rover has dropped out of contact with Earth in the midst of a massive dust storm on MarsEngineers are optimistic Opportunity will survive its trial by dust, but given its age and their emotional attachment to the hardy robot, they will not rest easy until skies clear enough for power levels to rise, allowing the rover to finally phone home.

Curiosity Rover Finds ' Building Blocks for Life ' on Mars . (Via NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration ) Share and Subscribe The Hoverrine.

Two rock samples taken by NASA 's Curiosity rover were found to contain organic molecules. NASA /JPL-Caltech/MSSS hide caption. For the first time, scientists say they have clear evidence that the chemical building blocks of life exist on Mars . What they can't say yet is whether there is, or

A team led by JPL senior research scientist Chris Webster found that the methane on Mars fluctuates with the seasons, peaking locally at 0.65 parts per billion during late summer in the Northern hemisphere and dropping to as low as 0.24 parts per billion during the other half of the Martian year.

This seasonal methane cycle suggests to the researchers that the gas may have come from large deposits of water-based crystals called catharses underneath the Martian surface. Although these subterranean deposits might release and absorb methane with the seasons, the provenance of the gas is still a mystery. Methane is another organic compound that could have initially been produced or consumed by life, although it is also possible that natural geologic and chemical processes, such as erosion or delivery-by-meteorite, brought the methane to Mars as well.

From studying our own planet, we know that organic compounds are produced and consumed in abundance by life. Whether or not the organics Curiosity is finding on Mars today were produced by life in the distant past, or perhaps even feed subsurface microscopic Martians to this day, is still an unknown-but we are roving closer to the answer every sol.

Mars Is About to Be the Closest it's Been to Earth in 15 Years. Here’s How and When to See it .
July is set to be a good month for stargazers, as Mars will get closer to Earth than it has been in 15 years, making it appear larger and brighter than usual. The event, known as Mars Close Approach, is thanks to Mars’ and Earth’s orbits around the Sun, which on July 31 will line up so that the Red Planet is 35.8 million away, according to NASA. For much of that night it will be visible to the naked eye. It will appear low in the sky, reaching its highest point of 35 degrees above the southern horizon around midnight.

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