NASA’s Curiosity Rover Found Something Strange on Mars

Sample drill hole in the Gale crater

As it’s the foundation for all life on Earth, discovering carbon on other planets always gets scientists excited – and the Curiosity Rover on Mars has found an unusual mix of the chemical element that could hypothetically point to the existence of alien life.

That’s by no means certain, but it’s a possibility. It’s one of three different scenarios that experts think might have produced the carbon found in sediment in the Gale crater, collected across nine years from August 2012 to July 2021…

…The third explanation…is that either ultraviolet light or microbes once upon a time converted methane produced by biological processes – that we’re looking at carbon created as a result of life. As with the other two possibilities, we’re going to need more surrounding evidence to know for sure, but there are some parallels on Earth…

Curiosity has recently been joined by the Perseverance rover, which is planning to return Martian rocks to Earth rather than experimenting on them in situ. Expect much more to be revealed by these two robotic explorers over the coming years…

The research has been published in PNAS.

Way cool!

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