After several months of research, NASA’s Perseverance prover, which is looking for potential signs of life on the red planet, has discovered organic substances in the Mar’s rock. However, scientists are waiting for a significant find when it comes back to Earth to evaluate the organic molecules.
According to NASA, several rock samples containing organic matter have been found in Jezero Crater. Jezero is a crater about 45 kilometers wide. It was probably the site of a river delta, formed approximately 3.5 billion years ago.
Scientists chose Jezero Crater for the mission because it allows them to explore an environment that some life forms may have inhabited. In addition, three billion-year-old rocks make it possible to look for evidence of life on Mars. The Perseverance rover landed in Jezero Crater in February 2021. It has collected four samples since July of this year.
Organic Compounds Samples
Perseverance is currently exploring sediments in Jezero Crater. The rover has previously found igneous rocks at the bottom of the crater, which provides information about the crater’s geological past to the scientist. Now the rover has made exciting findings in a place where conditions were said to be suitable for life billions of years ago.
Among the most significant finds was a stone that contains interesting organic compounds. The organic molecules were in a rock about a meter in size that was probably formed from mud and sand in an evaporating salt lake billions of years ago. According to scientists, this is proof that organic substances seem to persist in a very harsh environment on the Red planet.
When the rover returns to Earth, scientists will thoroughly examine the sample and be able to conclude. However, the remains of organic molecules can be formed in different ways, so the current finding is not yet clear evidence of life on Mars.
Featured photo by Stuart Rankin on Flickr