December 7, 2021

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So far unknown organic molecules have been discovered on the surface of Mars

So far unknown organic molecules have been discovered on the surface of Mars

No definitive proof of existence has been found yet Life on MarsBut with a new discovery, we’re closer than ever. Curiosity found organic molecules in the sands of MarsIt is an important factor in the formation of life. The discovery was made thanks to an earlier defect in the rover.

At the end of 2016 The rover has overcome an even greater obstacle And conquered it a little. Unfortunately, this ended with a glitch that prevented the instrument from drilling, which until now was Curiosity’s main method of obtaining information about the fourth planet from the Sun. It took more than a year for engineers to fix the bug, and The rover mission was questioned.

Fortunately, Curiosity is stocked with small labin which it was located Nine bottles of solvent. Thanks to this solution, he was still able to explore the planet even without drilling. It was enough to find a loose piece of rock or sand and combine it with a solvent. Unfortunately, solvent containers are disposable, so scientists had to carefully decide what should be inside them. One of the samples found compounds such as ammonia and benzoic acid.

It turns out that the solution is very convenient It is very difficult to detect organic compounds on Mars. Mainly because it decomposes into simpler molecules when heated. If they interact with the solvent first, there is a greater chance that they will end up with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis without dissociation.