Organic matter found on Mars

NASA news conference Mars announcement

NASA news conference Mars announcement

While these two findings aren't definitive evidence of life outside of Earth, they take us a tantalising step closer to finally having that answer.

So, just where did the methane come from in the first place?

The findings were also remarkable in that they showed that organic material can be preserved for billions of years on the harsh Martian surface. While water-rock chemistry might have produced those variations, NASA said it "cannot rule out the possibility of biological origins".

Ms Campbell said if life did produce the organic molecules it was on the "simpler end of the scale". There's also the chance the rovers will dig up fossilised evidence of life.

Ever since, scientists have ardently hunted for Mars's missing carbon-or at least an explanation for its absence. Using its drill, Curiosity takes samples of Mars and analyzes them in its onboard laboratory, sending the results back to NASA for further examination.

The rover is climbing Mount Sharp, a mountain in the centre of a region known as Gale Crater. And this discovery ushers in a new phase in the search for life on Mars.

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. But early into the rover's mission, researchers discovered that carbon-rich chemical reagents were leaking out of some of SAM's components, potentially contaminating nearby samples. This mudstone gradually formed billions of years ago from silt that accumulated at the bottom of the ancient lake.

Thimble-sized samples of material baked slowly in temperatures of between 500-840 degrees Celsius, revealed the grey mudstone contained different carbon-based molecules to those found at Yellowknife Bay.

Trudeau Taking Heat from Canadian Dairy Farmers
Trump said on Friday he might prefer to end NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral agreements with the two USA neighbors. Meanwhile, the European Union on Friday lodged an official complaint with the WTO over Trump's "unfair" trade tariffs.

Dr Eigenbrode said: "The Martian surface is exposed to radiation from space". "We know that on Earth microorganisms eat all sorts of organics", said Jen Eigenbrode, a biochemist at the space agency's Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Curiosity found seasonal changes in atmospheric methane on Mars.

This periodicity is to Webster the most exciting part of his team's results. In the past, scientists have seen plumes and patches of this intriguing substance, but this is the first time they've been able to discern a pattern in its presence. "It's like having a problem with your auto", he says. "It probably indicates more active water in the subsurface than we understood", scientist Kirsten Siebach, Martian geologist at Rice University not involved with the studies, told Gizmodo. "And the last one is geological processes, meaning the rock-forming processes themselves".

These maps could help guide future life-hunting surface craft to promising locales, Webster said.

About 95 per cent of the methane in Earth's atmosphere is produced from biological activity, though the scientists say it is too soon to know if the Martian methane also is related to life.

'With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life, ' said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at Nasa headquarters. If extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, that bar has most certainly not been met here. The joint ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars mission could be the one to find it.

In addition, methane's observed behavior on Mars is freaky. "It's step by step", she says.

Recommended News

  • Dutch queen's sister found dead at home

    Dutch queen's sister found dead at home

    Queen Máxima has cancelled a string of public engagements following news of the death of her youngest sister, at the age of 33. Her body was found Wednesday night by her mother María del Carmen Cerruti and a friend of Zorreguieta, said news agency EFE.
    China: Trade deals in jeopardy if United States  tariffs are implemented

    China: Trade deals in jeopardy if United States tariffs are implemented

    It says the two sides have made concrete progress on many areas but the details are left for final approval. Neither country has implemented the tariffs yet and continued discussions to find a way out of the impasse.
    Trump’s growing trade war could hit Bay State hard

    Trump’s growing trade war could hit Bay State hard

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union would respond in a "firm and united" manner to the tariffs . Now that the U.S.'s three key allies are subject to the tariffs , they are looking at what to do next.
  • Italy’s new government sworn in

    Italy’s new government sworn in

    The League is strongly anti-immigration and a joint plan agreed with the M5S in forming the new government reflects that stance. Salvini will be the new Minister of Interior, while Di Maio will be the Minister of Labour and Economic Development.
    Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

    Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

    I spent a moment wondering, but in the end I think they didn't mean this the way it sounds. Trump's lawyers made it. "I mean, we're leaning toward not", Giuliani told ABC .
    NBA Finals 2018: Stephen Curry breaks 3-point record

    NBA Finals 2018: Stephen Curry breaks 3-point record

    No team in National Basketball Association history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win any best-of-seven series. LeBron James kept Cleveland close despite Golden State's torrid shooting with 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.
  • In Canada in an accident with a bus injured 24 people

    In Canada in an accident with a bus injured 24 people

    OPP officers work at the site of a crash involving a tour bus on Highway 401 West, near Prescott, Ont . on Monday, June 4, 2018. Spokeswoman Abby McIntyre told The Canadian Press that all the patients the hospital had received were "Mandarin speaking".
    Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman, French Open 2018

    Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman, French Open 2018

    Though Nadal hit back to level for 2-2, the plucky Argentinian broke again with a thumping forehand to regain control. Nadal will next play 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman , who rallied to beat Kevin Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (0), 6-2.
    Bumblebee gets Rick Rolled in first trailer for Transformers prequel

    Bumblebee gets Rick Rolled in first trailer for Transformers prequel

    From the second he turns those puppy-dog eyes on teenage girl Charlie Watson ( Hailee Steinfeld ), it's love at first sight. When she revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary VW bug.
  • Oshie & Eller Win Stanley Cup with Capitals

    Oshie & Eller Win Stanley Cup with Capitals

    Defensively, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 81.4 percent of their opponents power plays. The Caps got the first goal, but the Knights tied it up just three minutes later. "You never want it to end like this".
    Mexico takes aim at Trump and USA  midterm elections

    Mexico takes aim at Trump and USA midterm elections

    The move follows a US decision to impose tariffs on imports of Mexican steel and aluminum purchases, which took effect on Friday. Pork, one of America's top exports to Mexico, is a major export from Iowa and Colorado, where Republicans face tough races.
    Marco Cecchinato enjoys life-changing victory - French Open 2018

    Marco Cecchinato enjoys life-changing victory - French Open 2018

    Even though he trails Thiem in their head-to-head, he won their most recent meeting on clay in the Madrid final this year. The last of his 12 majors was secured at Roland Garros in 2016 when he completed a career Grand Slam.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.