Perseverance Rover Finds Organic Matter On Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover is investigating a long-dry river delta on Mars and has discovered evidence that the area is rich in organics.

The rover took measurements and samples at a region called Skinner Ridge made of layered sedimentary rocks, some of which items transported from hundreds of km by rushing water billions of years ago.

NASA scientific lead Thomas Zurbuchen explained that the purpose was to hunt for places similar to those on Earth that may have indications of ancient life.

 Thomas Zurbuchen stated, "With the samples we're taking now in this more sedimentary area, we're right at the core of what we intended to achieve."

These sedimentary rocks include aromatics, which are complex organic compounds, as well as clays and sulphate minerals, which can be formed when water interacts with rocks.

While none of these components are definitive biosignatures, they do indicate that we are seeking in the proper region.

Perseverance's journey through the crater in where it landed towards the river delta has enhanced the predominance of organic materials.

"If this is a treasure hunt for potential evidence of life on another planet, organic matter is a hint," said Sunanda Sharma during a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

As our delta campaign progresses, we obtain more indications. We won't be able to search for life in these rocks until Perseverance's samples are returned home in 2028.