NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars
08 June, 2018, 16:30 | Author: Kristi Owen
NASA released a statement this week announcing the space agency would be holding a live discussion on new science results from its Mars Curiosity rover. The rover has not found evidence of life itself. This includes findings about Mars' atmosphere and organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones in the Gale crater.
But Curiosity's data are providing a clearer and more conclusive picture of the conditions and processes on Mars - and what it may have been like on the Red Planet billions of years ago, when conditions were more suitable for life.
"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 said. That's not to say there are no non-biological sources, but on our world they're swamped by cow farts and belching bacteria. Also pleasing is that the presence of chlorine and sulphur, which both preserve organics, suggests the presence of many more deposits from which to learn more about Mars' past and possible ecosystems.
"With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life", NASAscience mission chief Thomas Zurbuchen told USA Today.
The two studies appear in the journal Science.
Experts have hailed the two new studies as milestones for astrobiology.
The search for organic molecules actually began on Mars in 1976 via Viking 1 and II, so the finding of them by Curiosity is an achievement a long time coming.
Kirsten Siebach, a Rice University geologist who also was not involved in the studies, is equally excited.
NASA revealed the list of scientists who will be discussing the recent discoveries on Mars.
Regardless, the detection is a technical achievement, said Williford, because it demonstrates that organic molecules can persist near Mars's surface for billions of years.
That means they do not have compelling evidence for a biological origin of the carbon, but the possibility is not ruled out, either.
The search for life on Mars over the past half century has been an exercise in lowering the bar combined with ever more sophisticated ways of seeking clues.
A seasonal change in methane levels is exciting, he said, because 95 percent of the methane observed on Earth is the result of biology.
"This is the first time we've seen something repeatable in the methane story, so it offers us a handle in understanding it", said lead author of the second paper Chris Webster of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The magnitude of these seasonal peaks - by a factor of three - was far more than scientists expected. "It's tripling ... that's a huge, huge difference".
The rover was able to heat the samples to between 932 and 1508 degrees Fahrenheit and study the organic molecules released through gas analysis. The diameter is slightly smaller than a USA dime. The methane could even be trapped in water-based crystals beneath the surface. They're considered necessary for life to form, but there are plenty of places with lots of organic compounds but no life.
NASA's Curiosity rover has wandered around Mars' Gale crater, a presumed ancient lakebed, since 2012. They could even have been transported from elsewhere in the solar system.
Jen Eigenbrode, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said these findings "bode well" in the space agency's attempts to unlock the Red Planet's past and formation.
If microbial life was present on Mars, it would not have gone hungry.
Leaked images of the phone show it with a subdued gray and black appearance with perhaps a slightly more spacious keyboard layout. The back of the BlackBerry KEY2 also seems to have distinct diamond pattern for added grip for holding the smartphone.
He didn't make another birdie until the par-5 15th, when his sharp-breaking 15-footer dropped to give him a tie for the lead. He recorded a pair of bogeys on the first nine holes Friday, but then birdied six of the last nine to finish with a 66.
Trump could end up being hurt by the fact that she made the long-waited announcement about her initiative, and then disappeared. However, Melania is scheduled to join the president on Monday is hosting a reception that is close to the press.
With improvement in relations with South Korea is on the course, Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit may end up as forward looking. Mr Trump revived the Singapore summit on Friday after cancelling it a week earlier .
The next two days will be angst-laden for Cleveland , though hardly anyone should be fretting the outcome of this series . But the title seems largely dependent on whether Golden State continues to understand the significance of the moment.
Once 75 of them are banked, a "Primeval" can be summoned on the enemy side, blocking access to the bank until it's destroyed. Destiny 2 was easier to grasp for new players, but it lacked the same habit-forming quality of the original.
Spinning centrifuges convert the gases into enriched uranium that can be used for reactor fuel and medical isotopes. Katz addressed Tehran's threat to restart uranium enrichment at an "industrial level" if the 2015 pact falls apart.
Capacity utilisation remains at 75 per cent, an indication that investment activity has picked up but not across sectors. The pickup in growth surely offers a boost to prime minister Narandra Modi, who will be seeking a second term next year.
Trudeau declines to meet Trump because of USA precondition
Morneau has said Ottawa is buying the project from Kinder Morgan Canada in order to help the expansion overcome political risks. The EU also plans to slap heavy tariffs on other products such as bourbon, U.S. denim, motorcycles, motor boats etc.
Trump lawyers' letter to Mueller challenges subpoena
If Trump does not consent to an interview , Mueller will have to decide whether to go forward with a historic grand jury subpoena. Perhaps "here" means the things encompassed by the 16 topics Mueller's team said it wants to interview Trump about.
Distraught Djokovic no certainty for Wimbledon
Thiem, who lost in the semis to Djokovic in 2016 and Nadal a year ago , said he is now better-equipped to go all the way. The 10th seed produced a clinical performance to down Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier, firing 17 winners.
Microsoft has acquired GitHub
Many corporations, including Microsoft and Alphabet Inc.'s Google , use GitHub to store their corporate code and to collaborate. In the latest development, as per Bloomberg , Microsoft has actually agreed to buy the code hosting site.
In a network there were new photos of iPhone SE 2
ARKit 2.0 could contain a new mode that lets you and your friends play against each other in the same augmented reality world. Ideally, GDPR-level control for users should become standard for all apps across Apple's multiple operating systems.