Scientists have discovered 4 billion-year-old nitrogen-containing organic molecules in a Martian meteorite that shed new light on the early history of the red planet.
According to scientists, a meteorite, ALH 84001, was banished from the surface of the red planet 15 million years ago. It was discovered in Antarctica in 1984.
The discovery was made by a team that included experts from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences at the Japan Aerospace Research Center (JAXA).
According to the researchers, the discovery of nitrogen molecules provides clues to what Mars did before. In particular, the fact that the presence of water on the planet may once have given it to a much different level than we now know on the red planet.
“Because carbonate minerals typically precipitate from groundwater, this finding points to a wet and organic rich early Mars that could have been habitable and conducive to the onset of life,” they explain. opinion. Early Mars may have been more “terrestrial,” less oxidizable, wet, and organically rich. Maybe it was “blue”. “
In the study, experts point out that the current surface of the red planet is too hard for most organic organic matter to survive, although organic compounds are likely to persist in the vicinity of Mars for billions of years. “This seems to be the case with the nitrogen-containing organic compounds that the team discovered from ALH84001 carbonates, which appear to have been trapped in minerals 4 billion years ago and persisted for a long time before they were finally delivered to the ground,” they explain. opinion.
“There are two possibilities: either they came from outside Mars or formed on Mars,” ELSI researcher Atsuko Kobayashi said in a statement. “Early in the history of the solar system, Mars probably had a significant amount of organic matter in its mouth, such as carbon-rich meteorites, comets, and dust particles. Some of them may have dissolved in salt water and been trapped inside the carbonates. “
Another possibility is that the chemical reactions carried out on early Mars formed nitrogen-containing organic matter, said Mizuho Koike, a JAXA researcher who led the research team. In any case, scientists say there was organic nitrogen on Mars before it became a familiar red planet today.
The researchers have a separate project found the earliest evidence of persons killed by the meteorite.
Writing Journal of Meteorics and Planetary Science, experts explain how they found evidence of what happened in Iraq in the late 19th century.
A small piece of asteroid or comet is also known as a meteoroid. When it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a meteorite, fireball, or shooting star. The pieces of stone that hit the ground that are valuable to collectors are meteorites.
In 2017, a meteor made headlines as it flashed across the sky in Michigan. A burning fireball sent meteorite hunters to search for fragments of rare space stones.
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World news – CA – The discovery of the meteorites suggests that Mars may have once been blue