Mars Rock-Ingredient Stew Found Good For Life

Posted: Dec 14 2016, 6:08am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Mars Rock-Ingredient Stew Found Good for Life
This pair of drawings depicts the same location at Gale Crater on at two points in time: now and billions of years ago. Water moving beneath the ground, as well as water above the surface in ancient rivers and lakes, provided favorable conditions for microbial life, if Mars has ever hosted life. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 

Mars Rock-Ingredient - Good for Life

Recently, NASA found that billions of years ago ancient lakes changed and created chemicals that affected microbial life. During the mission, it was found that minerals were more in quantity in upper hill than in the lower part.

NASA scientists are researching on this discovery to see how water affected the old lake sediments.

Ground water affected the minerals,changing their chemistry. Variations also occurred in sediments at different levels. John Grotzinger, of Caltech in Pasadena, California said that, we have made a big discovery.

John Grotzinger is a member of Curisosiy’s Science team, and updated about the mission on Dec. 13, in San Francisco during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The Curiosity rover observes high layers that reveal the complexity of lake deposits, and the surrounding atmosphere. They also observed how water affected the sediments.

According to Grotzinger, due to chemical reaction the elements change their place forming new minerals.  As a result, the electrons redistribute, and such reactions on earth support life.

Curiosity reached Mars in 2012, and main aim of this mission was to find if the area was favorable for microbes. NASA team is now using a different strategy of drilling the samples at equal distances when rover reaches the mountain.

We are doing this experiment consistently to see the desired results,  said by Curiosity Deputy Project Scientist Joy Crisp of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California.

The scientist found evidence through mineral hematite, which replaced magnetite. Hematite is a new element found in the mud stone deposits, and the research was revealed by Thomas Bristow of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

The scientists discovered chemical gradients which receive or donate electrons that produce life energy. Increased level of hematite than magnetite shows change in the environment that involves iron oxidation.

Curiosity rover also discovered Boron that contains calcium sulfate. This is the first time that boron is detected on Mars as declared by Patrick Gasda of the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.  

The Scientists consider these environmental changes dynamic, because they interact both with ground and surface water. As a result, water chemistry also changes. Complex changes in water are good for habitability.

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