Nasa’s Curiosity Rover has found organic molecules and methane releases on the planet Mars announced NASA’s Press Release on Thursday. Curiosity has been drilling the surface of the Gale Carter on Mars for a long time and now when the rock samples were analyzed by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), they were found to be composed of organic matter. Scientists also found mysterious variations in the methane in the Martian atmosphere.
Organic molecules are made up of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen and some of the molecules detected by SAM include benzene, toluene and thiophenes. The rock samples also detected traces of sulfur. These molecules said to have helped life arise on the planet Earth but what the scientists at NASA want us to understand is that while these molecules might be the basis of life, they do not mean that life on Mars exists. The source of the organic molecules could be anything, and while the presence of methane on Mars could be a result of organic interactions, methane can also be a consequence of geological processes. BUT it could indicate that ancient life could have existed on Mars. “Are there signs of life on Mars?” Michael Meyer, the lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, said at NASA Headquarters, “We don’t know, but these results tell us we are on the right track.”
These findings do aid the mission to find life on Mars, as said by Thomas Zurbuchen at NASA headquarters in Washington, “With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life. I’m confident that our ongoing and planned missions will unlock even more breathtaking discoveries on the Red Planet.”