Ancient Martian lake could have been layer cake of life

Ancient Martian lake could have been layer cake of life

Long ago, on a planet not far away, there was a lake – not just a lake, but it was finally able to clarify this question 64 million: was there life on Mars? The new findings based on NASA’s Curiosity Roer mission data show Lake Gale Crater not only had properties similar to Earth’s lakes but also had all the traps that would have made the earth microbial game.

Since his landing at Gale Crater 96 miles (155 kilometers) in 2012, he was accused of curiosity if the planet has had the means to support a livable environment. Promising evidence of this was found at the beginning of its mission, with the discovery at Yellowknife Bay of an ancient lake bed rich in clays where life might have existed before.

A study published earlier this week in the “halos” found on rock suggests that the region could continue to sustain life even after the disappearance of the lake and now, new data suggest that the lake could have two Living rooms which would have made the same home opportunity for microbial life, whether known aerobic, anaerobic or anoxic conditions.

In this study, researchers, led by Joel Hurowitz geoscientist from Stoney Brook University, analyzed clay stones that Curiosity has gathered during its earliest 1,300 martial days (a Martian day is the equivalent of 24 hours and 37 minutes) to the Profile of the old lake. One thing that struck me was the differences in physical, chemical and mineral characteristics of the lake bed deposits at the lower Mount Sharp, a mountain in the crater of sludge and sediments that are stacked with the weather hardened. Why do some rocks have thicker layers and a greater proportion of the hematite mineral iron, while others had very thin layers and contained more magnetite?

This has led researchers to question whether fluctuating environmental conditions were at play, as these differences indicate that deposits were formed in very different environments. High concentrations of silica accompanied by magnetite, for example, indicate the deposit in an anoxic environment, while the presence of hematite-phyllosilicate points to an oxidant.

“You could say that something was happening,” Hurowitz said. “What brought iron minerals to be a taste in one part of the lake and a different taste in another part of the lake? We had an ‘Aha!’ When we realized that the mineral information and the information on the thickness of the bedding were perfectly matched to each other in a way that you would expect from a stratified lake with a chemical boundary between shallow water deeper and deeper water .
This diagram shows how Gale Crater Lake was divided into separate segments with different degrees of oxygen (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Stony Brook University)
In other words, as stratified lakes of the Earth, Lake Gale Crater were also different layers with different amounts of oxygen, which was suggested by the oxidation of the iron deposits found in the samples. Those that were taken from the edge of the crater tend to be oxidized, indicating that there was more oxygen in these shallow waters, while those caught in the middle did not rust, meaning ‘there was less.

Given how life on Earth began in the rich old oceans with iron and oxygen free, these results help in advance that ancient Mars had also lived so habitable.

“[We] Remember that at the time of Gale Lake, life on our planet had not yet adapted to the use of oxygen – photosynthesis had not yet been invented,” says co-author Roger Wiens, planetary scientist at the National Laboratory Of Los Alamos. “On the other hand, the oxidation state of certain elements such as manganese or iron may have been more important for life, if it ever existed on Mars.These oxidation states are controlled by the dissolved oxygen content of water.”

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