More evidence key building block of life were on Mars

(Nanowerk News) Evidence for diverse types of organic molecules have been detected by the Perseverance rover in the Jezero Crater on Mars, according to a paper in Nature ("Diverse organic-mineral associations in Jezero crater, Mars"). The findings suggest that a more complex geochemical cycle than previously thought may have existed in the past.
Hypothesized explanations for the origins of organic matter on Mars include water–rock interactions, or deposits by interplanetary dust or meteors, although biotic origins have not been discounted. Understanding more about Martian organic matter could shed light on the availability of carbon sources, with implications for the search for potential biosignatures.
The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is the first tool to enable fine-scale mapping and analysis of organic molecules minerals on Mars. SHERLOC is onboard the Perseverance rover, which landed within the Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake basin with high potential for past habitability.
Sunanda Sharma, Ryan Roppel and colleagues analysed SHERLOC’s observations in Máaz and Séítah, two formations on the Jezero Crater floor. Signals of organic molecules were detected on all ten targets SHERLOC observed in the Jezero Crater floor, concentrated in Máaz more than in Séítah, showing diverse mineral association and spatial distribution that may be unique to each formation.
The diversity among these observations may provide insight into different ways organic matter may have originated: potentially through deposition by water, or through synthesis with volcanic materials.
The findings show that different organic synthesis and preservation mechanisms may be operating on the Martian surface. The authors suggest that aqueous processes may have played a key role for these mechanisms.
Source: California Institute of Technology (Note: Content may be edited for style and length)
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