Possibility of ancient life on Mars

Possibility of ancient life on Mars
Possibility of ancient life on Mars
The US space agency, NASA, said that samples collected by its Mars rover indicate the possibility of ancient life on the surface of the planet.

The agency’s Curiosity spacecraft has been on a mission for nearly a decade, to determine if Mars is habitable by living creatures.

CNN reported on Tuesday that a new analysis of sediment samples collected by the rover revealed the presence of carbon and possible ancient life on the Red Planet.

She added that it may be just one possible explanation for why the planet exists.

The network explained that carbon is the basis for all life on Earth, and the carbon cycle is the natural process of recycling carbon atoms.

She pointed out that on our home planet, carbon atoms go through a cycle as they move from the atmosphere to the Earth, and then back to the atmosphere.

She noted that most of the carbon is found in rocks and sediments, and the rest is in the global ocean, atmosphere and living organisms.

“This is why carbon atoms with their own recycling cycle are trace elements of biological activity on Earth, so they can be used to help researchers determine whether ancient life existed on Mars,” the network said.

“When these atoms are measured inside another material, such as: Martian sediments, they can shed light on the carbon cycle on a planet, no matter when it occurred.”

It quoted a NASA study published in the American “National Science” magazine as saying that knowing more about the origin of this newly discovered Martian carbon can also reveal the process of the carbon cycle on Mars.

The study stated that sediment samples collected between 2012 and 2021 were heated to about 1,562 degrees Fahrenheit (850 degrees Celsius), in order to separate the elements; This released samples of methane, which was then analyzed by another instrument in the rover’s arsenal to show the presence of stable carbon isotopes or carbon atoms.

“The carbon samples are somewhat similar to samples from Australia taken from 2.7 billion-year-old sediments,” said Christian House, lead study author and professor of earth sciences at Penn State University.

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