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Ancient life on Mars is possible explanation for latest rover discovery, scientists claim

By January 18, 2022No Comments

ANCIENT life on Mars is one possible explanation for a recent discovery by Nasa’s Curiosity rover.

The rover is currently roaming the Red Planet, collecting samples and trying to determine if there was once life on Mars.

NASAThe Curiosity rover drilled holes into Mars’s Gale Crater to collect the samples[/caption]

New analysis of one of the rover’s sediment samples shows the presence of carbon.

Carbon is the foundation of all life on Earth so scientists are excited about its presence in a Mars sample.

It’s not a definite sign that there was life but carbon atoms help trace biological activity on our planet.

That means they could help researchers determine whether there was once living organisms on Mars.

The carbon atoms could provide insight into the planet’s ancient carbon cycle.

The new carbon findings were recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nasa’s Curiosity rover collected sediment samples from Mars’s 96 mile wide Gale Crater between August 2012 and July 2021.

It’s thought this crater was once home to an ancient lake.

The crater provided 24 samples which were then heated to separate them into elements.

Curiosity then measured the elements inside and found that some of the samples were rich in carbon and some were depleted in the element.

Study lead author Christopher H. House said: “The samples extremely depleted in carbon 13 are a little like samples from Australia taken from sediment that was 2.7 billion years old.

“Those samples were caused by biological activity when methane was consumed by ancient microbial mats, but we can’t necessarily say that on Mars because it’s a planet that may have formed out of different materials and processes than Earth.”

Microbes grow in big colonies called mats on Earth and deplete carbon and other materials from their surrondings.

If the Gale Crater was home to a lake, it may have been home to similar microbes.

This is something the researchers haven’t ruled out.

Other theories for why Mars has carbon in its sediment include a galactic dust cloud or ultraviolet degradation of carbon dioxide.

Researchers plan to take and study more samples from the Gale Crater.

In other news, cryptocurrency tycoons who spent $3million (£2.2million) buying a copy of a notebook have been left disappointed.

China has built an ‘artificial moon’ to train its astronauts for future missions.

And, a new virtual reality vest that lets you feel multiple sensations could be used by long-distance lovers.

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