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Building blocks of life formed on Mars
Date:12/11/2007

es, was during rapid cooling of fluids on Mars. A second event produced organic material from carbonate minerals during impact ejection of ALH 84001 from Mars.

The results of this study show that volcanic activity in a freezing climate can produce organic compounds, remarked co-author Hans E.F. Amundsen from Earth and Planetary Exploration Services. This implies that building blocks of life can form on cold rocky planets throughout the Universe.

Our finding sets the stage for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission in 2009, remarked Steele, who is a member of the Sample Analysis on Mars (SAM) instrument team onboard MSL. We now know that Mars can produce organic compounds. Part of the mission's goal is to identify organic compounds, their sources, and to detect molecules relevant to life. We know that they are there. We just have to find them.


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Contact: Andrew Steele
asteele@ciw.edu
202-478-8974
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

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