January 17, 2022

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Diligence falls on the organic molecules in the Jessero Valley

Among the many discoveries announced at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, researchers have revealed that the Mars Xerox crater formed from molten volcanic magma. Organic molecules on some of the rocks on Mars have also been isolated by the Perseverance rover.

Diligently isolated organic molecules on Mars

First of all, those who call themselves “organic molecules” do not need to say that they are “the source of life.” These compounds simply provide carbon-hydrogen bonds It is also formed by non-biological processes. Moreover, such molecules have been identified several times on Mars, most recently. By Curiosity Rover.

That being said, this new discovery made in the heart of Gesero Greater (once filled with water) is significant. In fact, it proves that rocks analyzed by Perseverance Rover can protect these compounds. By stretching, we can imagine if the organic matter is present. It can also be protected.

The discovery was made using scanning the living environment with Raman & Luminance (or Sherlock for short) for Organics & Chemicals. This is one of Rover’s key tools. These types of molecules have been identified in rocks attached by rovers to collect samples, but also in the surrounding dust. Future analyzes will be carried out to try Determine how these organic substances are produced.

A rock attached by a diligent rover. Credit: NASA / JPL

A crater lined with lava at one time

The X-ray planetary instrument for lithochemistry (or PIXL), another instrument of diligence, allowed researchers to learn more about the foundations of the Gesero Greater. After taking a carrot under the nickname “Brock”, the PIXL data clearly showed the presence of olive crystals embedded in the pyroxene crystals.

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On Earth, such a mineral structure has the appearance of ignition. In other words, it would have been the bottom of the Jessero abyss Formed from hot magma.

A good geography student will tell you that such a structure indicates that rock is formed when crystals grow and slowly settle into magma, for example, a dense volcanic stream, volcanic lake or magma chamber.Ken Barley of the California Institute of Technology explains.

This rock would have been replaced by water in many cases. Its analysis will therefore allow scientists to better understand the history of this abyss.