While pilots like Curiosity, Zhurong and Endurance are out in search of this, any sign of life on Mars could be several meters below the surface, according to a new study conducted by NASA itself.
Alexander Pavlov, a astronomer at the Goddard Space Flight Center, led a team that, through a series of experiments and experiments, confirmed that radiation can damage amino acids with great difficulty. And you know what’s left of radiation?
Mars. Mars has a lot of radiation falling on top of it. The red earth has very low oxygen content, which lasted for billions of years – and it means low, almost no protection from the sun.
“Our results show that the amino acids in regoliths and on Mars are degraded much faster than we previously thought,” said Pavlov, before saying, in effect, that the earth’s activities are digging deep.
“Rovers missions here on the Mars drill [o solo] about five inches [cm]”Pavlov said. “At that point, radiation can take up to 20 million years to completely destroy amino acids. The combination of perhlorates and water, however, increases their destructive potential. ”
Radiation is a major concern for any space mission: On Earth, the human body experiences about 0.33 millisieverts per year – a small number. On Mars, the volume can jump up to 250 millimeters.
For comparative purposes: 1000 millisieverts equal to 1 sievert. For the human body, the accumulation of 4 to 5 sievers is extremely dangerous. In other words: Mars can kill you quickly.
Solar radiation, however, is much more complex: with more energy, it can penetrate deep rocks, ionizing and destroying any molecules it encounters. On Earth, this is reduced by our atmosphere, which contains elements that protect us from the sun’s most dangerous elements.
At Mars, however, it is a different story: there was a time when the red planet had the most powerful atmosphere as ours, as well as the most powerful force in the universe. In addition, there is ample evidence that Mars’ surface contains large lakes, lakes, and rivers. In other words, it could be that life on Mars was possible billions of years ago.
Amino acids are also indications of the existence of living things – or the places they contributed – to Mars: they are not environmentally friendly, but each helper relies on amino acids for their original build. Without them, there is no “life” as we know it.
To test the strength of these components, Pavlov and his team conducted further experiments, mixing different amino acids with salts mixed with Mars’ soil – in particular, consisting of silicon dioxide, hydrated silicon and various perhlorate (salts). printing material in test tubes in areas that mimic the red earth temperature.
Later, the group exploded everything with a gamma ray, an estimate of the amount of radiation received by the Martian over a period of 80 million years. “Our work is the first complete study in which the degradation of many amino acids has been studied under various conditions related to Mars. The conclusion is that the addition of silicon and perhlorates significantly increases the degradation of amino acids.”
This is because the studies that followed this method are not new, but they only tested radiation against amino acids, not considering the additives that mimic Mars. This, according to Pavlov’s research, led to a distorted picture, since soil elements also make a difference in this destruction.
In practice, the team found that any amino acids present in the Martian until 100 million years ago ceased to exist. Considering that Mars’ biodiversity was possible longer than that – billions of years, at least – holes drilled by the earth’s crust are unlikely to produce any amino acids.
It is worth remembering that Endurance and Curiosity were able to dig up material objects on land, but they were probably created by abiotic (ie non-biological) methods, so it cannot be cited as evidence of life on Mars.
The whole study was published in a scientific journal astronomy.
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