Mars discoveries advance case for possible life

Curiosity tests a new way to drill on Mars

Both discoveries were made possible by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and have been detailed in a pair of new studies.

Researchers can not yet say whether their discovery stems from life or a more mundane geological process. That leaves open the possibility that microorganisms once populated our planetary neighbour and still might.

The new evidence comes from a pair of rocks.

A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.

The samples were drilled from the base of Mount Sharp, inside a basin called Gale Crater that is believed to have held an ancient Martian lake.

Questions remain, however, as to how the organic material was formed. "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", Eigenbrode said.

Potential contaminants were analyzed and accounted for, so the results are the most conclusive yet. This is the matter-chemically characterized as combinations of carbon, hydrogen, and other elements routinely found in biology like sulphur and oxygen-often associated with life. The researchers suspect the thiophenes' carbon came from as-yet-unidentified larger organic molecules, which had been trapped and preserved inside the jarosite for perhaps billions of years.

"It could have been from meteorites", she says. This is also when life was evolving on our own planet.

Contained below the 3.5 billion-year-old mudstone was a fine-grained sedimentary rock.

New Prince album announced on 60th birthday
Prince sold more than 100 million records during his career, with his music spanning rock, funk and jazz. On what would have been his 60th birthday, Prince has given the world a gift.

NASA discovers organic matter on Mars
Eigenbrode clarified, however, that the matter was not evidence of life as non-biological entities can create organic molecules. The new organic molecule findings are 100 times greater than those previously found on Mars' surface, according to the agency.

Trump Slammed Canada for Burning Down the White House. It Didn't, Really
Japan is also expected to take a less confrontational approach than its G7 peers, while still quietly pressing its case on trade. When Trudeau asked why in the hell you want put these tariffs on us, Donald Trump gave him the reason of national security.

And then there's the most intriguing possibility.

It "defines how questions will be asked and pursued in the next stage of Mars exploration", Anbar, who was not involved in the study, told AFP by email.

"Because this lake had everything that organisms needed to be happy, maybe there was life in the lake", she says.

Organic molecules are the building blocks of life. So the Martian traces of organic matter do hint that the basic conditions for life to form were present on Mars at around the same time they existed on Earth. The new organic molecule findings are 100 times greater than those previously found on Mars' surface, according to the agency.

Scientists say three different types of organic molecules were found by the rover after it dug just two inches (5cm) in the planet's surface. There may be more material buried deeper. If scientists keep drilling deeper and more widely, as they plan to do with the European and Russian space agencies' ExoMars rover and NASA's Mars 2020 mission, who knows what they might find?

Finding organic compounds - which are substances that contain carbon and are considered necessary components of life - in 3.5-billion-year-old rocks on Mars is a big deal, ten Kate told Live Science, and so is the discovery of the seasonal methane (CH4) variation in the atmosphere. There was also mention of some "mysterious" methane fluctuations in Mars' atmosphere, but I'm more concerned with the ancient organic stuff, which, it should be noted, does not mean ancient living stuff.

"The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up", said Curiosity's project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

He and his colleagues think the methane is coming from underground.

"As temperatures change from winter to summer, the methane changes greatly because as the surface gets a little bit warmer it releases a lot more methane", he said.

Related News:

  • Scherzer whiffs 13 in beating Rays | Sportsxchange

    Scherzer whiffs 13 in beating Rays | Sportsxchange

    Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Jonny Venters makes his first major league start Wednesday against the Washington Nationals . Washington limped home after dropping three of four in Atlanta to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.
    Woman Diagnosed with Cancer After Doctor Notices Lump on HGTV

    Woman Diagnosed with Cancer After Doctor Notices Lump on HGTV

    She said that she has an excellent and trusted oncology team at Duke University - plus, Dr Voigt "by [her] side". Voigt's post was viewed thousands of times, and eventually he reached Nicole McGuinness, 32, of Havelock.
    French man to cross Great Pacific Garbage Patch on 6-month swim

    French man to cross Great Pacific Garbage Patch on 6-month swim

    But Lecomte knows the application of science-and a boat stocked with 2.8 tonnes of food-will only get him so far. The Lecomte has already swum the Atlantic ocean in 1998, breaking 6400 kilometers over 73 days.
  • Can Cleveland recover from 0-3 hole?

    Can Cleveland recover from 0-3 hole?

    He drilled an isolation three just before halftime to cut the Warriors' deficit to six points. It was the closest they would get for the rest of the night.
    Space : New crew blasts off for ISS

    Space : New crew blasts off for ISS

    Only 18 percent of respondents said NASA should send humans to Mars and even fewer think astronauts should return to the moon. The space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres per hour (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.
    Xbox E3 2018: Every Confirmed and Rumored Game

    Xbox E3 2018: Every Confirmed and Rumored Game

    The Xbox One X will be $50 off during the duration of Microsoft's E3 sale , bringing it down to a grand total of $449. The world's biggest gaming convention returns this week as the industry returns to Los Angeles for E3 2018 .
  • Capitals beat Golden Knights to clinch maiden Stanley Cup title

    Capitals beat Golden Knights to clinch maiden Stanley Cup title

    Alex Tuch got his own rebound in the right circle and whipped a pass to Smith, who scored from the left circle. With one more victory, the Washington Capitals can put an end to a long title drought for D.C. sports teams.
    Liverpool set to complete £53m signing of Nabil Fekir from Lyon

    Liverpool set to complete £53m signing of Nabil Fekir from Lyon

    Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are also reportedly interested in the French global - but Liverpool are now in the driving seat. However, Fekir has never started a competitive match for France so is unlikely to be a key player at the 2018 World Cup.
    NTSB releases preliminary findings on March's fatal Tesla Model X crash

    NTSB releases preliminary findings on March's fatal Tesla Model X crash

    Federal agencies are investigating two other crashes in which Teslas ran into stopped fire department vehicles. Autopilot uses sensors to determine when there is a auto in the lane ahead and adjusts the set speed lower.
  • N.J. trooper pulls over officer who helped with his delivery

    N.J. trooper pulls over officer who helped with his delivery

    The retired officer said he knew it well, because 27 years earlier, he had helped deliver a baby there when he was a rookie cop. But once Patterson discovered who he was speaking to, he gave Bailly a warning and let him off without a ticket.

    Queen Maxima of Holland's younger sister found dead in Argentina

    Inés Zorreguieta was found dead at her home in Buenos Aires and, according to the RVD, she may have committed suicide. She canceled her upcoming engagements including a state visit to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
    Genetic test could mean many women with breast cancer forgo chemotherapy

    Genetic test could mean many women with breast cancer forgo chemotherapy

    The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, some foundations and proceeds from the USA breast cancer postage stamp. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs.

Most liked

Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles shares real photo of twins Rumi and Sir
The never-before-seen video was followed by a message reading " This is real love " flashing on screen. The next tour stop is Glasgow on Saturday and OTRII will hit Vancouver's BC Place on October 2, 2018.

UN seeks crackdown on single-use plastic
The Gujarat Pollution Control Board, despite criticism from the high court, is not equipped to deal with plastic pollution. Our ongoing drives to conserve and revive water bodies are addressing the pressing problem of clogging by plastic wastes.

Triple life plus 16 years for axe murderer Henri van Breda
Van Breda murdered his family in their Stellenbosh home in 2015 but has denied carrying out the attack throughout his trial. Since his conviction van Breda has been held in the medical wing of South Africa's notoriously violent Pollsmoor prison.

Two Pruitt Aides Resign as E.P.A. Ethics Questions Continue
The tweet added, "The Democrats couldn't block the confirmation of environmental policy expert and former EPA staffer". The EPA chief is the subject of several investigations into alleged ethical lapses.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Design Leaks Tip Galaxy Note 8-Like Design
The CAD information, of course, could be erroneous or represent an older version of the device, but it might also be legitimate. Popular leakster OnLeaks has managed to leak the Galaxy Note 9 renders, showing the upcoming flagship from all four sides.

E3 2018: Hitman 2 Will Not Be Episodic, Launches 13th November
Sniper Assassin mode allows you to jump into the Hitman series with another player and work together to take down targets. A page for the game surfaced on Steam with a host of new information.

Taco Bell giving away free tacos for Golden State Warriors win
The fast-food giveaway comes thanks to the Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers while on the road in Cleveland. Fans can collect their taco on Wednesday, June 13 , between the hours of 2 and 6 participating locations.

Valve to stop policing Steam and ‘allow everything’ (except trolls)
But this isn't about helping small-time developers; this is about the role Valve thinks Steam serves for the video game industry. We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game.

Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14M users
She added that Facebook is notifying users who posted publicly during the time the bug was active to review their posts. Facebook depends on trust in its privacy features to keep people sharing.

Amazon Unveils 'Fire TV Cube' With Alexa, 4K Streaming
You can ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim your lights, choose what to play without getting up from the couch or touching a remote. As an introductory offer, Prime members can pre-order Fire TV Cube on June 7 and 8 for a special price of $89.99.

LeBron doesn't want Cavs to get too comfortable at home
You've got to know he's going to end up with 30 points and a triple-double and all that stuff, because he's that good. It was a mutual toughness admiration society between Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Tactical change helps Halep reach French Open semis
Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour. Two-time major victor Kerber raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set before having to rely on a tiebreak to nudge her ahead.

LeBron's Game 3 dunk sets social media on fire
The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 101.9 points on 45.6 percent shooting and allowing 102.6 points on 46.8 percent shooting. James has hit the 30-point mark 110 times out of the 238 career playoff games he has suited up. "I want a [championship]".

Bill Clinton Apologizes For His Controversial "Today Show" Interview
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski slammed Clinton Monday, saying that he is "incapable of owning anything". Speaking to Neil Cavuto on Fox News, Paul explained, "I think the problem is that I don't think he's truly contrite".

More than 150 Northern train services will be cancelled every day
Northern implemented an emergency timetable this morning that will see 165 daily services removed until 29 July. He added: 'As far as I am concerned, this emergency timetable represents the last chance saloon for Northern'.