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A new study published in the journal Science shows definitive evidence of organic matter on the surface of Mars. The data was collected by NASA's nuclear-powered rover Curiosity. It confirms earlier findings that the Red Planet once contained carbon-based compounds. These compounds – also called organic molecules – are essential ingredients for life as scientists understand it.
The organic molecules were found in Mars's Gale Crater, a large area that may have been a watery lake over three billion years ago. The rover encountered traces of the molecule in rocks extracted from the area. The rocks also contain sulfur, which scientists speculate helped preserve the organics even when the rocks were exposed to the harsh radiation on the surface of the planet.
Scientists are quick to state that the presence of these organic molecules is not sufficient evidence for ancient life on Mars, as the molecules could have been formed by non-living processes. But it's still one of the most astonishing discoveries, which could lead to future revelations. Especially when one considers the other startling find that Curiosity uncovered around five years ago.
The rover analyses the air around it periodically, and in 2014 it found the air contained another of the most basic organic molecules and a key ingredient of natural gas: methane. One of the characteristics of methane is that it only survives a few hundred years. This means that something, somewhere on Mars, is replenishing the supply. According to NASA, Mars emits thousands of tons of methane at a time. The level of methane rises and falls at seasonal intervals in the year, almost as if the planet is breathing it.
NASA suspects the methane comes from deep under the surface of the planet. The variations in temperature on the surface of Mars cause the molecule to flow upwards at higher or lower levels. For example, in the Martian winter the gas could get trapped in underground icy crystals. These crystals, called clathrates, melt in the summer and release the gas. However, the source of the methane is still a complete mystery.
The world of astrobiology considers both of these studies as historical milestones. According to this information, Mars is not a dead planet. On the contrary, it is quite active and may be changing and becoming more habitable.
Of course, this means further research is necessary. Scientists say they need to send new equipment to Mars, equipment that can measure the air and soil with more precision. There are already missions underway. The European Space Agency's ExoMars ship lands in 2020 and will be able to drill into the ground on Mars to analyse what it finds. Additionally, NASA is sending another Mars Rover in the same year to collect samples of Martian soil and return them to Earth.
The possibility of life on Mars has fascinated humans for generations. It has been the subject of endless science-fiction novels and films. Are we alone in the universe or have there been other life forms within our Solar System? If the current missions to the Red Planet continue, it looks as if we may discover the answer very soon.
I think that we will never live on Mars.
ok your mad bigmac
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This text so good and very easy for me because like my name is morgan
i think as long as something bad is not happening on our lovely planet earth and still being the most suitable and habitable for human life people will prefere to stay and live on the earth. except if there is something bad happen, people does not have other choice apart have to move. Of course the scientist have to do the researches more weather mars is habitable and safe for human life because this is planet, not a small land that you can explore in a year. there could be other area which not safe or even danger for human life. If we force ourselves to have a life on Mars, such as how scientist created oxygen on mars which dominated by 96% of carbon dioxide. it will costed a lot of money even unpredictably to create something new on mars or change it in order to provide new life for humans life.
Mars is very much an unchartered territory although progresses have been made, they're mainly focusing only on certain areas as other areas are still deemed unsafe due to unpredictability of weather patterns and other unknown phenomena. Thus to speculate whether men are going to live there one day is a debate between the overly optimist and a rational commoner. The scientific community would argue that extensive researches and findings have been made in recent years giving lights to the many hopefuls minded that one day we are going to colonize. The common folks might say that there are still too many unknowns and scientists are just keeping up their spirits so as to keep on going digging into the abyss of the undiscovered. Would common men live on Mars? I highly doubt it, but would scientists set research centers like they do in the artic and on ISS - International Space Station? Maybe. If we don't yet have technology or means to live comfortably in the artic which is on earth, I am not sure whether we would have one that enable us to conquer Mars. So, to stay during short trips might it be for research or vacation, there's possibility, to live there like living permanently, it's unclear but highly probable no.
yes, one day it is possible that people will live on Mars. Scientists work very hard and it is possible to stay on mars in the future.
This is endless topic. The people are brain washed by media which means hollywood movies etc. It is unbelievable that people will live on Mars for the next 100 years. There are two main problem. First one is economical problem that means live on mars is require too much expense. Second is scientific advancement that means our technology development too far from live on Mars.
Yes, I think one day we will live in Mars. There is too much discovery about this planet. I can imagine that we will live one day. Many private organisations are doing great things about space.
I'm not sure when it happened but many scientists do hard work on it.