NASA finds 3 bn years old organic molecules in rocks on Mars

Curiosity Drill Hole

U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding NASA's Curiosity rover's groundbreaking discovery on Mars.

The organic material was unearthed in 3-billion-year-old sedimentary rock samples extracted by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite and then heated to 500 degrees Celsius to release its molecular constituents. The discovery is said to be the most compelling evidence that billions of years ago, the parched Red Planet once consisted of carbon-based compounds essential to sustain life.

Also, thanks to the longevity of the Curiosity rover, scientists have been able to observe a "breathing" of methane in the Martian atmosphere, with the amount increasing in the summer and reducing in the winter.

While the discovery is one of the most tantalising searches yet to indicate that biological processes were (or maybe still are) responsible for these organic materials, it is not definitive proof of life on Mars.

Since Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, only recent drills into the Mars' gale crater show evidence of life.

Referring to the findings regarding organic compounds and methane, Webster said, "They hint at an earlier time on Mars when water was present and the existence of primitive life forms was possible".

‘Stranger Things’ Books Set For Fall Debut From Penguin Random House
The gift book , which doesn't have a title yet, will offer "advice, wisdom, and warnings from the Stranger Things world". The prequel will be released in early 2019, will follow Eleven's mother and the MKUltra Program .

The Queen has successful cataract operation
A cataract is what happens when the lens in your eye, which is a small transparent disc inside the eye, develops cloudy patches. This is the most common operation performed in the United Kingdom , and there is a high success rate in improving site.

USA to release American 'enemy combatant' held in Iraq
Of that group, so far 12 have returned home to US soil and have not yet carried out an attack. The unnamed individual has been detained as an enemy combatant in Iraq since September.

Christopher Webster, an atmospheric science research fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said it is possible existing microbes are contributing to the Martian atmospheric methane. The experiment involved scientists heating the rock fragments to more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a close inspection of the molecules that wafted away. The good news is that the findings pave the way and further direct the Martian quest for life. "Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination", the journal said.

He and his colleagues think the methane is coming from underground. Thus, there is a hope that the changes in methane content in the atmosphere are because of the microbiological activities as they release methane as a waste or byproduct. So they looked elsewhere.

As with methane, there could well be nonbiological explanations for the presence of carbon-containing molecules on Mars, such as geologic processes or impacts by asteroids, comet, meteors and interplanetary dust.

"While we don't know the source of the material, the incredible consistency of the results makes me think we have a slam-dunk signal for organics on Mars", Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, explained. "Everything that was needed to support life was there".

Clearly, there are more questions about Mars that need answering.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alaphilippe edges dramatic Dauphine finish
Jun 10, 2018 - 21:23
Adam Yates, who'd made much of the early running in the stage, came home in third, 15 seconds behind Martin. Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors has won the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Aide Larry Kudlow Calls Justin Trudeau Trade Comments A 'Betrayal'
Jun 10, 2018 - 20:58
European officials said Trump had tried to water down the language in the draft communique on the WTO and rules-based trade. That was Justin Trudeau's late father, who served several terms as Canada's prime minister, starting in the late 1960s.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Actor Vince Vaughn arrested for DUI
Jun 10, 2018 - 20:55
Vaughn was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving as well as resisting, delaying or obstructing police, Sabosky said. Vince Vaughn was arrested for driving under the influence in California , according to TMZ .

Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title
Jun 10, 2018 - 20:27
Thiem , who has won two clay-court tournaments this season in Argentina and Lyon, is now into his first Grand Slam final. That seemed to unsettle him and he played poor game that culiminated in a wild backhand going long to give him the lead.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Acquittal of former DRC Vice-President a 'huge blow' to victims
Jun 10, 2018 - 20:14
Frustration is rising in Congo against Kabila as the presidential election has been delayed since late 2016. In one incident, a man's wife was gang-raped and when he protested he, too, was raped at gunpoint.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pres. Trump won't invite National Basketball Association champions to White House
Jun 10, 2018 - 19:45
I think that's important. "Let's hear it for the Eagles!" he shouted, as audience members booed him. If they don't want to be here, I don't want them", he said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Today Is World Oceans Day-Here's What You Can Do To Help
Jun 10, 2018 - 19:39
Eighty per cent of all pollution in the sea comes from land, including some 8 million tons of plastic waste each year. So every country should celebrate this special Day and promote awareness for saving the environment of the oceans.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top United Kingdom top court: can not rule on N Ireland abortion law
Jun 10, 2018 - 19:24
Last month, the Republic of Ireland overwhelmingly voted to legalize abortion , a historic move. This is Grainne Teggart , Northern Ireland campaigner for Amnesty International.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Choose your own swipe actions with the latest Gmail for Android
Jun 10, 2018 - 19:17
You may need the latest version of Gmail (8.5.20) before you'll see them, but this also may be some sort of server-side change. It's a long needed bit of customization, and the ability to swipe in order to snooze any email is particularly welcome.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dead or Alive 6 official reveal trailer published, coming out in 2019
Jun 10, 2018 - 19:00
The sixth entry, nearly seven years after Dead Or Alive 5, is set to be released in 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Fatal Rush, meanwhile, is a potentially devastating special attack that can be executed by spamming the special button.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Danny Kirwan Dies Aged 68
Jun 10, 2018 - 18:54
The late musician was sacked Fleetwood Mac in 1972 after apparently becoming over-stressed with his duties in the band. Former bandmate Mick Fleetwood announced Kirwan's death in a Facebook post Friday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Memorial for Anthony Bourdain Built Outside Shuttered NYC Restaurant
Jun 10, 2018 - 18:40
McBride and Reidenberg both suggest that news outlets include phone numbers and links for suicide hotlines and treatment centers. Gauri Devidayal, who along with her husband runs the popular Mumbai restaurant, The Table, regularly followed Bourdain's shows.

Trump says does not endorse G7 communique, after 'weak' Trudeau comments
Jun 10, 2018 - 18:29
Last month, he spooked Canada and Mexico by introducing the idea of slapping tariffs on auto exports to the U.S. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not wait for the USA president to kick off the meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Insurer lobby group weighs in on Obamacare individual mandate case
Jun 10, 2018 - 17:57
However, he said, Bailey opposes the individual mandate and wants less government regulation of health insurance . The takeaway for consumers: This shouldn't deter people from seeking health insurance.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Andy Warhol Paintings Sold in Cryptocurrency, Auctioned Via Blockchain
Jun 10, 2018 - 17:55
After the acquisition process, owners will get tamper-proof digital certificates that are linked to works of art via blockchain. The piece also features a finger swipe that Warhol's own hand supposedly made.