Mars may not be lifeless planet - say scientists


07/09/2010

Carbon-rich organic molecules that serve as building blocks in the origin of life, may be present on Mars - so say the scientists, challenging the popular belief that the Red Planet is empty.

When, in 1976 with the help of two NASA spacecraft collected and examined samples of Martian soil, scientists have found no evidence of the content in it carbon-rich molecules or biological life.

But after the 2008 "Phoenix" found on Mars, chemical perchlorate with a chlorine content in the "polar" region of the planet, scientists have decided to once again visit the planet.

Yet, this is not the answer to the question "Is there life on Mars." After traveling for research purposes in the attack in the desert in Chile, there were suggestions that the same conditions may be on Mars.

After mixing the soil with perchlorate and heating the mixture, they found that the funds were the gases carbon dioxide with traces of hlorometana and dihlorametana - just like gases formed by chemical reaction heated Martian soil "Viking" and found more than three decades ago.

They also found that the chemical reaction efficiently destroying all organic compounds in the soil.

"Our results suggest that not only organics, but also perchlorate, may be present in the soil at both landing sites" Viking "- said the lead author of the analysis, Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez (Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

But despite the excitement generated findings, the researchers caution that it is too early to draw conclusions about what the Red Planet ever have a life.

"It still does not give a specific answer to the question ’was there life on Mars’, but it might help in the search for evidence of this fact" - said Chris McKay (Chris McKay) from the Research Center in California.

He explained that organic compounds can be formed by both biological and non-biological sources - many meteorites that fell to Earth contain organic material.

Perchlorate, an ion of chlorine and oxygen, could be present on Mars billions of years, but only showed up when heated, destroying all organic soil.

When scientists initially studied the data sensing "Viking", they are organic compounds containing chlorine as liquid contaminants from the spacecraft.

It is not clear whether the detected organic molecules of the Red Planet on local origin or brought by meteorites.

This will be one of the goals of upcoming missions to Mars. In 2011, NASA plans to launch its mission Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover with Curiosity, designed to search for organic material on the planet. Our news is the key informers, modern life. You are always aware of all the events of your country.


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