The presence of organic material Give New clue About The Life On Mars

Astronomy Science ~ Origin of organic materials found by the Mars Lander has long been debated, but a new study shows how to determine whet...

Astronomy Science ~ Origin of organic materials found by the Mars Lander has long been debated, but a new study shows how to determine whether these organic chemicals originating from the Red Planet or elsewhere. Some Mars lander mission has detected chloromethane, a chemical that is sometimes produced by living organisms, but most scientists think that the findings were contaminated from Earth.

Now, a team of researchers has mimic this experiment in the meteorites found on Earth (using the Murchison meteorite that fell in Australia in 1969), and found that chloromethane is produced from organic material contained in the space rock. These findings suggest that chloromethane on Mars may come from the debris of meteorites on the surface of the planet Mars or derived from the land itself, not from Earth.

Viking lander NASA landed on Mars in 1979. The spacecraft Viking I is the first vehicle which detects chloromethane in Martian soil samples. While the Viking II lander did not detect chloromethane, but found traces of dichloromethane, other organic compounds. However, scientists reject these findings and say that it was contaminated from Earth.

Micrometeorites are some of the most widely material falling on Mars, and contain organic carbon which can form chloromethane when heated.
More recently, NASA's Curiosity found traces of chloromethane in soil were examined in one of the scientific instruments. Again, the researchers claim that these chemicals are not more than a contamination of Earth, partly because it is unclear whether these chemicals can form itself.

Frank Keppler, a biogeochemist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, led a study to analyze the Murchison meteorite which landed in Australia in 1969. He reasoned that if he could understand how chloromethane formed in this meteorite, he might be able to see a bright spot if chloromethane found on Mars came from Earth, from other meteorites or from the Red Planet itself - and may have come from Mars life.

Mars continuously bombarded by small rocks called micrometeorites. "Every year, approximately 50,000 tons fell on the surface of Mars," said Keppler. Most are carbonaceous, which means they contain carbon, an essential building block for life.

Researchers heating the material from the Murchison meteorite with temperatures up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius), is similar to the experiments conducted Viking and Curiosity, and of course, they found chloromethane. They know it's not contamination from Earth because it has a different chemical fingerprint.

This chemical element appears in different forms, called isotopes. The researchers saw signs of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in chloromethane from meteorites, and they are not in accordance with chloromethane found on Earth.

Heating the chemicals that produce chloromethane in the same amount found by Viking and Curiosity, showing the same process may occur with micrometeorites on the Red Planet.

To determine that chloromethane on Mars came from Earth, meteorites or from the soil of Mars, scientists can measure isotopes sign, said Keppler. At this time, landing on Mars (including Curiosity) does not have the tools to measure the isotopes, but future missions might be able to do so, he said. Based on these findings, the presence of chloromethane is "a clear sign" that organic material on Mars, said Keppler. It does not necessarily indicate organic matter derived from life, he said, "but we can not exclude it."
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Astronomy Science: The presence of organic material Give New clue About The Life On Mars
The presence of organic material Give New clue About The Life On Mars
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