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Where to Hunt Life on Mars – Axios



After decades of sending missions to Mars, NASA is now zeroing in on regions of the red planet that they think have the best chance of determining whether the world has hosted – or hosted – life.

Big Picture: Scientists can now point out parts of Mars that were once wet and warm, with geological signatures similar to the rivers, deltas and lakes of Earth – increasing the chances that these parts of Mars would ever could be friendly to life.

"Housing and living are two very different issues. You can build a house and furnish it nicely and put food in the fridge, but that doesn't mean someone lives there. "

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1; NASA Axis coach Axios

Running the news: New research finds that the NASA Mars 2020 rover will land in an area that could be the perfect place to hunt for fossilized evidence from a past life.

  • The landing site – known as the Crater of Jezero – was once home to the Lakes and River Delta for billions of years.
  • The rim of the crater may be rich in carbonates, which can help preserve the signs of ancient life in fossil form.
  • The Mars 2020 Rover is expected to explore possible rock formations and explore the delta that once fed the lake. in the crater.

Meanwhile: Last week, NASA announced that curiosity – which Mars has discovered in the past is habitable to microbial life – has found little oxygen to Mars, but no one is quite sure where it comes from.

  • The discovery adds to the mystery surrounding the possible discovery of methane on the rover, reported earlier this year.

Yes, but: Methane and oxygen may have been created through natural geological processes that have nothing to do. with life.

  • Finding the origin of these molecules is extremely difficult, scientists say, without other evidence pointing to the living creatures of Mars.
  • Knowing whether a methane molecule comes from a living creature or geology may involve digging an isotopic composition into it, but even then it's not a surefire way to confirm the origin of the discovery, scientists say.
  • The Rover 2020 plans to cache rock samples for a possible return to Earth for a future mission, to confirm any possible life-pointing discovery.

"There is always this uncertainty when looking at Mars."

– NASA Scientist Lindsay Hays to Axios

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