Why do scientists already know where to look for life on Mars? Science

Why do scientists already know where to look for life on Mars?  Science

“We’re definitely in the right place.”

There is a sense of relief in the scientific team responsible for the research vehicle diligence (diligence, in Portuguese). NASA, In Tuesday.

Researchers are now hopeful that the vehicle has been sent to a location that offers the best chance of finding traces of life on the red planet.

“Percy”, as the robot affectionately calls it, landed in the Xero gorge in February 2021 and has since taken thousands of photos of the surrounding area.

The description of these images is the basis of the first science article based on these findings, published in the journal Science this week.

Analysis confirmed it Perseverance is where the bottom of a large lake once stood on the surface of Mars, Fed by a winding river that has reached a barometric depression in the west. We are talking Something that happened 3.5 billion years ago, When the mood Tuesday It’s like that Terra.

From diligent observations, it was found that at the confluence of the six lakes, the flow abruptly decreased and the suspended sediments eventually multiplied, forming a delta. It is a wedge-shaped structure that you can see in many places on earth.

It is in this environment that some microorganisms may have multiplied and perhaps left traces that are still preserved today.

An example of a landscape in the Sinai Peninsula like Jessaro-Photo: Sanjeev Gupta / via BBC

Sanjeev Gupta, a professor at Imperial College London, comments: “Some people have asked me, ‘What’s so new about this? Well, we don’t really know

Sediment fan or digestion cone is a geological system in which the fan of objects is usually deposited in high-energy environments such as the ocean or river.

The Martian microbes, if they existed, would have preferred the delta’s calm, permanent waters.

The diligence landed 2 km from the main delta, but the images taken by its telescope were very interesting, especially when it was located on an isolated mound that scientists have named Kodiak.

“Some of the layers that make up the normally growing delta can be found in these remains.”

The river has horizontal bottoms with fine granular sediments thrown into the lake from its entrance into the abyss. Above them will appear sloping sediments through the most advanced flaps of the delta. River stagnant sediments are still high after the delta’s banks expanded.

In addition to the Kodiak and major delta formations, there are many large rocks in Jessero. This indicates that there have been occasional floods following the history of the valley.

“Something has changed in hydrology. We don’t know, we don’t know if it’s a climate-related phenomenon,” says Professor Gupta. “To move the rocks so big, you might need something like a flood. Maybe there were glacial lakes in the local bed that sent these streams towards Jessore.”

“On Earth, we see the lake overflowing in places like the Himalayas. In the bed of the Ganges, these large boulders mix with the normal river sand, which is where the flash flood of the glacier lake occurred,” Gupta told the BBC News.

The scientific team of diligence will send you to the foundations of the main delta formation to drill into the ground in search of the small clay rocks they hope to find. They will also focus on the ring of limestone at the edge of Jessero, which at the deepest point marks the shore of Lake Groove.

This robot is tasked with collecting and storing two dozen rock specimens from various locations. These specimens will be brought back to Earth in early 2030 to be tested in laboratories for the presence of microscopic life forms on the surface of Mars.

Plans for this are well underway, and NASA and its European Space Agency will send another robot from partners to diligently retrieve samples from the abyss where they will be stored.

It will be a British made vehicle. He will collect the rocks and turn them into a rocket, which will be launched towards a point in Mars orbit, where a satellite is finally waiting to be carried to Earth.

“We are about to enter the most exciting moment in the exploration of Mars,” said Sue Horn, head of space exploration at the UK Space Research Center.

“The dream of exploring red planetary models will soon come true as the propulsion system of the model vehicle will be tested next month.”

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