NASA's Perseverance rover discovers organic chemicals on Mars
NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover mission has discovered that rocks from the Jezero Crater have interacted multiple times with water over the centuries and some of these rocks contain organic molecules.
The organic compounds were discovered on Jezero's 45-kilometres length, which was home to a large lake and a river delta in ancient times. They were detected using the SHERLOC instrument (Scanning Habitable Environments With Raman and Luminescence For Organics and Chemicals).
The researchers found carbon-containing molecules in both the abraded rocks' interiors that SHERLOC analysed and in the dust from non-abraded rocks.
The scientist stated that the discovery of organics was not proof that life existed once in Jezero, but rather a sign (biosignatures) that suggested so. Organics can be created by both biological and non-biological processes.
Curiosity Rover also found organics at Gale Crater landing site.
Scientists said that the preservation of organics in ancient rocks at Gale and Jezero Craters, regardless of their origin, suggests that biosignatures (signatures of life) may also be preserved.