Perseverance Rover has gathered its first rock samples from Mars. The results are already indicating that life may have a chance on the Red Planet. NASA scientists studied the piece and discovered that water had existed on the planet for tens of thousands, if not millions, of years.
Science Alert, citing the researchers, said salt deposits appear to have developed as water moved over the tested rock. Some of Mars' ancient water is thought to have been trapped in the salt's pockets, indicating that there may be preserved evidence of life. Although scientists have just received two samples from this rock, it will take considerably longer for them to learn more about Mars' composition and the extent to which life may thrive there. The samples will not be returned to Earth until future expeditions recover them. The Perseverance will be left behind.
Early data from NASA's Perseverance mission is encouraging. It gives a wealth of knowledge on Mars' structural history, directing scientists to the correct path for future Mars study.
NASA Rover's Rock Cores Said There's Ancient Water in Mars
Perseverance dug its first finger-sized core, then repeated the operation a few days later. According to BBC, The experts believe the rock in question is volcanic in origin, allowing them to date it precisely.
It also includes salts, which indicate that the water has been altered, which increases the likelihood of life. Or, at the very least, the possibility of a former existence.
The first sample, dubbed "Montdenier," was taken on September 6. Meanwhile, the second rock, dubbed "Montagnac," was taken on September 8. The rocks from which the Montdenier and Montagnac samples were collected exhibit evidence of being in touch with water for a long time, adding weight to the hypothesis for ancient life on Mars.
The mission's project scientist, Ken Farley of Caltech, believes the initial rocks show a possibly livable sustained environment. The program is led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, the space agency said in a statement. He went on to say that the latest finding was significant since the water has been around for a long time.
The basaltic rock that produced the mission's first core samples is thought to result from lava flows. Radiometric dating is made more accessible by the presence of crystalline minerals in volcanic rocks. Scientists may be able to date the rock's formation using its volcanic origin. Each sample may be used as part of a bigger historical puzzle; arrange them in the correct sequence, and scientists will have a timeline of the crater's most critical events. The development of Jezero Crater, the presence and disappearance of Jezero's lake, and prehistoric climatic shifts are only a few of these occurrences.
Furthermore, salts have been discovered in these rocks. These salts might have developed due to groundwater altering the original minerals in the rock, or more likely, as a result of liquid water evaporating and leaving the salts behind. These first two rock cores' salt minerals may have captured tiny bubbles of old Martian water. If found, they might act as microscopic time capsules, revealing information about Mars' past temperature and habitability. The capacity of salt minerals to preserve evidence of ancient life is likewise well-known on Earth.
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