Organic matter found on Mars in 'significant breakthrough'

NASA conference Mars Curiosity Rover

The Mars Curiosity rover made an interesting discovery while on our neighboring red planet: organic material and a "mysterious" methane. The organic compounds aren't even the first molecules of their kind found on Mars, though they are the oldest. So like the organic molecules, it's not an unambiguous biosignature. The organic material discovered on Mars is rich in sulphur, which would have also helped to preserve it. "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. Using SAM, Webster and his colleagues have found a persistent background level of methane in the atmosphere above Gale Crater over the last five years of about 0.4 part per billion-a scarcely detectable trace, to be sure, but enough to pique astrobiologists' interest.

As some of those molecules are often fragments of kerogens - organic molecules known to be the residue of living matter - the paper's authors cautiously suggest the Martian finds could suggest biological processes once took place on Mars. The methane concentrations peak near the end of the northern hemisphere's summer, then dwindle in the winter.

The new findings - of "tough" organic molecules in 3-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere - appear in the June 8 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Science.

"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). Curiosity sampled mudstone in the top 5 centimeters from the Mojave and Confidence Hills localities within Gale Crater.

Grigor Dimitrov loses to Fernando Verdasco in 3rd round
"I was two breaks down on the tie-breaker and I had two or three match points and then on the fourth one I was very exhausted ". Madison Keys beat Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (5), 6-4 to qualify for the last four at Roland-Garros for the first time in her career.

Both the methane gas and soil compounds are organic matter.

"It's incredibly exciting, because it shows that Mars is an active planet today", says Caltech planetary scientist Bethany Ehlmann, a Mars expert who wasn't involved with the studies.

"This is all possible because of Curiosity's longevity". The European Space Agency plans to launch its own rover in a few years and NASA is building a powerful follow-on to Curiosity, the Mars 2020 rover, that will be equipped with even more powerful instruments to advance the search for life.

"They could be changed from something like we've observed at the base of the mountain into methane that eventually makes its way back in to the atmosphere", she said.

In a network there were new photos of iPhone SE 2
This year WWDC runs from June 4th through June 8th at the McEnery Convention Center in San JOse , California . According to a recent Bloomberg report , the new "Digital Health" features will appear in iOS 12 settings.

"Because we see these coming off of the sample at high temperatures, what they're really telling us is that they're part of something larger, a macromolecule", she said.

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft effectively ruled out cosmic origins following its analysis of the dust left after a close encounter with the comet Siding Spring in 2014.

Arriving at Mars in 2012 with a drill and its own onboard labs, Curiosity confirmed the presence of organics in rocks in 2013, but the molecules weren't exactly what scientists expected.

I asked everyone I spoke with if they thought there was life on Mars, and the consensus was maybe, maybe not.

China warns United States against tariffs as trade talks end
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire compared Washington's action to something out of the old "Wild West". Mnuchin had said on Saturday the U.S. wanted China to agree to structural change to its economy.

Previously, it was an open question whether signs of life might be preserved on the now-harsh Martian surface.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Microsoft’s effort to build underwater datacenter reaches next phase
Jun 08, 2018 - 11:32
The data center that went under is essentially a 40-foot long tank that's packed with 12 racks and a total of 864 servers. Keeping this in mind, Microsoft has designed the pod in a manner which wouldn't require maintenance for up to five years.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kevin Durant confirms that he plans to stay with Golden State Warriors
Jun 08, 2018 - 10:47
Wednesday night's Game 3 of the NBA Finals was the 100th playoff game of Draymond Green's tenure with Golden State. Late in the game, Durant called for the ball on numerous occasions, clearly looking to seal the win.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US singled out by G7 allies over tariffs ahead of summit
Jun 07, 2018 - 14:58
He blames what he calls their abusive trade policies for America's persistent trade deficits - $566 billion past year . It also used the national-security argument to impose tariffs on steel imports from Canada, its neighbor to the north.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Man Utd Officially Sign Fred For £52 Million
Jun 07, 2018 - 14:00
Footage of Fred's performance at Old Trafford have now emerged on YouTube and they show what kind of player Mourinho has signed. United have got their man and Fred can now join up with his Brazil team-mates and focus on their World Cup campaign.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top LeBron James on NBA Finals Game 2 defeat: 'It sucks to lose'
Jun 07, 2018 - 12:34
Smith was still the target of Twitter memes during Sunday night's Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but this time, he wasn't alone. Smith said he "might have" told LeBron James that he thought the Cavaliers were winning when he made the costly mistake.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Livingston, McGee giving Warriors big lift in finals vs Cavs
Jun 07, 2018 - 11:45
He finished with a playoff career-high 43 points to go with 13 rebounds and seven assists, including hitting 6-of-9 3-pointers. Cleveland made an early push to turn Game 3 into a blowout, but Durant's spectacular shot-making wouldn't let that happen.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hawaii volcano destroys hundreds of homes
Jun 07, 2018 - 11:42
Thousands have been evacuated from the area, but officials fear that up to a dozen residents who chose to stay could be dead. Ige is coming to Hilo Thursday to meet with Kim, Snyder said, and the main focus will be on fast-tracking temporary housing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Melania Trump to make first public appearance after hospitalization
Jun 06, 2018 - 02:44
Melania Trump is scheduled to appear at her first official engagement since dropping out of sight 24 days ago. CNN also has focused in recent days on questions about the first lady's whereabouts.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Andre Iguodala Might Play in the 2018 NBA Finals After All
Jun 06, 2018 - 02:31
The fact that Curry had help, whereas LeBron James didn't, was the story of the match and might be the story of this series. They can go even smaller, and force them into the ultimate small-ball game with LeBron James as the team's center.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Italy's new government hard on migrants
Jun 06, 2018 - 02:17
That sparked a breakdown of the coalition's first attempt to form a government and a furious reaction from the coalition leaders. But Mr Salvini has also said Italy's new government would "not take a hard line on immigration but one of common sense".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple’s new ‘Memoji’ lets you create your own personalized Animoji
Jun 06, 2018 - 02:15
It looks like Apple is finally finally finally fixing one of the worst problems with the iPhone X: unwanted screenshots. Apple will encourage users to share photos with their friends by suggesting such opportunities in a new "for you" tab.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SpaceX launches largest communications satellites
Jun 06, 2018 - 02:00
SpaceX won't land the booster again, as the company is trying to phase out the Block 4 rockets for the new Block 5 configuration. The company SpaceX Elon musk moved to end 2018 mid 2019 commercial launch his spaceship with humans to orbit the moon.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UK Learns Iran Planned to Enrich Uranium for Military Use
Jun 06, 2018 - 01:58
The EU said that a first assessment indicated the new steps announced by Iran did not constitute a violation of the agreement. Major worldwide companies are already beginning to distance themselves from Iran in fear of United States sanctions.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bashar Assad warned against hitting U.S
Jun 04, 2018 - 08:53
This month, government forces pushed all rebels out of the Syrian capital of Damascus, marking a major turning point in the war. He also expressed gratitude for Iran's help against foreign-backed terrorism in Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Six dead as 'Volcano of Fire' erupts in Guatemala
Jun 04, 2018 - 08:23
National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas said seven people were confirmed dead and an unknown number were unaccounted for. A view of an eruption of the Fuego volcano in Alotenango, Sacatepequez, Guatemala, 03 June 2018.