NASA's Mars probe 'Perseverance' discovers organic matter from rocks altered by water, a sign of life


is believed that Mars was once covered in water , which is necessary for sustaining life. The discovery of the compound has been reported by a research team led by Sunanda Sharma of the California Institute of Technology.

Diverse organic-mineral associations in Jezero crater, Mars |

Rover sampling finds organic molecules in water-altered rocks | Ars Technica

Perseverance rover digs up a diverse set of organic molecules on Mars | Space

Organic compounds containing carbon often contain hydrogen and other elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. According to Sharma, organic compounds are often seen as building blocks of life, and the discovery of organic compounds is a very important discovery for astrobiologists. However, organic compounds can also be produced by processes unrelated to life activities, such as geological factors, and cannot be regarded as a clear sign of the existence of life. Still, the elucidation of the types of organic compounds and the generation process is an important investigation of life on Mars.

Therefore, the research team analyzed the data using the spectrometer `` The Scanning Habitable Environment with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) '' installed in Perseverance.

Attached to Perseverance's robotic arm, SHERLOC can measure and photograph organics and minerals using cameras, spectrometers and laser detectors. Sherloc's laser detectors can also investigate molecules present in minerals. It is also equipped with equipment for performing

Raman spectroscopy , and although it is difficult to identify molecules in organic compounds by using these functions together, it shows what kind of molecules exist. can do.

Perseverance will land in the Martian crater Jezero , which is rich in clays and other minerals that may contain organic compounds, in February 2021, and use SHERLOC to determine the geological composition of the crater. Conducted surveys and mining.

When the research team analyzed the rocks based on the data obtained from Perseverance's SHERLOC, all 10 observed sites contained organic compounds that were formed about 2.3 to 2.6 billion years ago. signal was detected.

Olivine containing carbonates and silicates has also been discovered in rocks called 'Garde'.

The research team said, ``The fact that organic compounds exist in combination with various salts suggests that organic compounds on Mars were not simply transported on meteorites, but were deposited by water or the chemistry of rocks by water. It indicates that it may be related to change.'

On the other hand, according to the research team, the data obtained from SHHERLOC alone cannot identify all types of organic compounds or discover whether organisms are involved in the formation of rocks. , It seems that it is necessary to return the rock sample to the earth and perform the analysis.

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut