March 29, 2023

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Interesting meteorite from Mars reveals ‘huge organic diversity’, scientists say: ScienceAlert

in A recent study Posted in Science advancesAn international team of scientists led by the Technical University of Munich examined the Martian meteorite Tissint, which fell near the village of Tissint, Morocco, on July 18, 2011, with pieces of the meteorite about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the village.

What makes Tissint so intriguing is the presence of “huge organic diversity,” as mentioned in the study, which could help scientists better understand whether life exists at all. Marsand even the geological history of the Earth as well.

“Mars and Earth share many aspects of their evolution,” said Dr. Philipp Schmidt-Koplin, director of the Analytical Biochemistry Research Unit at the Technical University of Munich, and lead author of the study. statment.

“While life originated and thrived on our planet, the question of whether it existed on Mars is a very hot research topic that requires deeper knowledge of our neighboring planet’s water, organic molecules, and interactive surfaces.”

ALH 84001 meteorite. (NASA/Johnson Space Center)

organic molecules They are molecules made up of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms, but they can also contain oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements as well. The four basic classes of organic molecules include carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids.

As seen on Earth, organic molecules are analogous to life, but the study notes that abiotic organic chemistry, non-biological processes, have been observed “in other Martian meteorites.”

“Understanding the processes and sequences of events that shaped this rich organic bounty will reveal new details about the habitability of Mars and possibly about the interactions that could lead to the formation of life,” said Dr. said a member of the science group of NASA’s Mars Sample Return Campaign for NASA’s Perseverance rover and a co-author of the study in statment.

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Dr. Steele has also done extensive research regarding organic materials found in Martian meteorites, including Tissint.

For the study, the researchers examined the entirety of Tissint’s organic makeup, identifying “diverse chemistry and abundances of complex molecules,” the study states, while also helping to unlock past geological processes within the red’s crust and mantle. planet.

The researchers also identified a large number of organic magnesium compounds not previously observed on Mars, which could provide new clues about the geochemical processes that shaped Mars’ deep interior with a possible link between the Red Planet’s mineral evolution and the carbon cycle.

upcoming NASA Mars sample return mission It could provide deeper insights into both the organic and mineral composition of the Red Planet. Dr. Schmidt-Koplin recently told Universe Today that such a mission could be just as successful Japanese Hayabusa 2 asteroid Sample Return Mission Since “they were able to show that the meteorites so well reflect the chemistry found on the return mission, maybe we’ll be able to do the same.”

tescent With a total weight of 7 kilograms (15 lb), it is currently the fifth meteorite classified as of Martian origin, with 2012 study It is estimated that it was expelled from Mars about 700,000 years ago by some kind of violent event.

Grayscale image showing a massive microscopic view of a meteorite with strange protrusions that appear to have stuck together.
Microscopic structures within the ALH 84001 fragments that were initially interpreted as microfossils, but these results have since become inconclusive. (NASA)

Tissint draws some parallels with one of the most famous meteorites of Martian origin found on Earth, ALH84001which came under great scrutiny in the late 1990s when it was first thought to contain microfossils, results that have since become inconclusive.

β€œALH 84001 was one of the most studied Martian meteorites because it was found in Antarctica and thus preserved in ice with low pollution,” Dr. Schmidt Kopelin recently told Universe Today.

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“At the time, looking at the life molecules in the diverse chemistry of that meteorite and seeing the additional biology-like features in microscopy led to a very quick conclusion that life was found on Mars.”

What new Martian secrets will Tessint, future meteorites and future samples from Mars teach us about the Red Planet? Only time will tell, which is why we know!

This article was originally published by the universe today. Read The original article.