Friday, May 25, 2012

ystery of Mars's organic carbon deepens - meteorites from Red Planet DID carry building blocks of life

Molecules containing large chains of carbon and hydrogen - the building blocks of all life on Earth - are one of the main 'targets' of Man's missions to Mars, and key to understanding if life ever existed on our neighbouring planet.

These molecules have previously been found in meteorites from Mars - but scientists have disagreed on where they came from.

A new paper led by Carnegie’s Andrew Steele provides strong evidence that this carbon did originate on Mars - although it does not seem to be biological in itself.

These findings give researchers insight into the chemical processes taking place on Mars and will help aid future quests for evidence of ancient or modern Martian life. The work is published May 24 in Science Express.

There has been little agreement among scientists about the origin of the large carbon molecules detected in Martian meteorites. Read More