Perseverance observes organic molecules on Mars

Perseverance observes organic molecules on Mars

Perseverance has been crisscrossing the soil of Mars for a year, and the NASA robot continues to make unprecedented scientific discoveries on the red planet. The latter are surprising.

Rolling for a year on the surface of the Jezero crater, the Perseverance robot is continuing its samples which provide further information on the composition of the Martian soil. At a press conference this week, NASA revealed the presence of organic molecules in abraded and unabraded rocks recovered by the Sherloc instrument (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals).

While waiting for the return to Earth

This discovery will make it possible to map the distribution of organic matter inside rocks and to link organic matter to the minerals found there. These analyzes will be used to better understand the environment in which these organic materials were formed. Materials that inevitably raise the central question of the presence of past life on Mars.

We are not there yet and we will have to continue studying the rocks taken by Perseverance. A mission aims precisely to repatriate these extremely precious samples to Earth. Another discovery of the NASA robot: the soil of the Jezero crater would be composed of magma, at the very least of olivine crystals present in pyroxene crystals whose levels are very high. This is a sign that the rock formed from a very slowly cooling magma.

Better yet, this rock has been modified by water over the centuries. This will make it possible to date the events which marked the life of the crater and above all, to ” better understand the period when water was most common on its surface and reveal the beginnings of the history of the planet Mars », Explains a researcher from the space agency.

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