The study examined several rocks discovered at the bottom of Mars’ Jezero Crater. There the Perseverance rover landed in 2020. It discovered significant interactions between the rocks and liquid water. These rocks also show evidence of the presence of organic compounds.
Organic compounds (chemical compounds with carbon-hydrogen bonds) are not direct evidence of life. Because they can be produced by non-biological processes. To determine this, future missions returning samples to Earth will be required.
The study was led by researchers from the California Institute of Technology. And was carried out by an international team that included Empire researchers. Professor Mark Septon of Imperial College’s Department of Geosciences and Engineering was a member of the scientific team that participated in the Mars rover operations. They considered the implications of the findings.
Perseverance Organic compounds previously discovered in the Jezero Delta Deltas. They are fan-shaped formations formed on the crater rim by the confluence of rivers and lakes.
The bottom of the crater remained a mystery. There the rover landed before moving to the delta for safety reasons. Researchers anticipated finding sedimentary rocks at the lake’s bottom as water deposits sediment layer by layer. When the rover arrived, some scientists were surprised to find mineral-bearing igneous rock (cooled magma) on the crater floor. It indicates not only igneous processes but also significant contact with water. a rice field
Jezero Delta, which could preserve microbes, piqued the scientists’ interest. Deltas form when fine-grained sediment-laden rivers flow into deeper, slower-moving bodies of water. The water in a river slows dramatically as it spreads. It deposits sediment and trapping and preserving any microorganisms that may be present.
Water is required for these minerals. Such as carbonates and salts, to circulate within igneous rock carving out niches and depositing dissolved minerals in various areas such as cavities and crevices. Data from some locations show organic matter within these potentially habitable niches.
SHERLOC was used to discover the minerals and organic compounds that they may contain. SHERLOC is the acronym for Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals.
His SHERLOC, which is attached to the rover’s robotic arm, searches for organic compounds. Also, how they are distributed within materials, providing insight into them. It is outfitted with a variety of tools, including a Raman spectrometer for Handouts.
As it moved toward the delta, the rover collected several samples of the water-altered igneous rocks. And stored them for a future sample-return mission. To determine whether organics are present, what kind of organics they are, and whether they have anything to do with life, the samples would need to be returned to Earth. It will be examined in laboratories equipped with cutting-edge technology. The study was funded by NASA, the European Research Council, the Swedish National Space Agency, and the UK Space Agency.