Mars: there was not only water but also organic compounds

"News from Mars," CNN reported Friday. "There was not only water, millions of years ago, but also organic compounds."

In an interview with Caroline Smith, Head of Earth Sciences at the UK's Natural History Museum, the CNN asked the million dollar question.

Mars rover

"How likely is it that life once existed on Mars?"

“What we've found with data from the rover and studied over the last few months is that we have igneous rocks – these are rocks that have been formed through volcanic processes – which are also affected by the action of water.

And this is actually very interesting and exciting, because water is one of the basic ingredients you need for life to begin. So if there is any chance of life on Mars, water must have existed somewhere for at least a period of time. We have good evidence for this.

Now this is combined with the fact that we watch, using tools like SHERLOCK, which is a tool I work with, the presence of organic molecules. Organic molecules are chemical molecules composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sometimes sulfur, sometimes phosphorus, and perhaps some additional elements. All of this is actually very important, because organic molecules are needed for life to begin.

The other thing that's really interesting about organic molecules is that they can actually be a kind of fossilized chemical evidence of possible past life."

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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