Curiosity Rover Found Potential Signs Of Life On Mars! - Lake Harding Association

Curiosity Rover Found Potential Signs Of Life On Mars!

Curiosity Rover Found Potential Signs Of Life On Mars!

By Micah Moen 32 Comments March 26, 2020


One of the most important goals of space exploration
is the search for life outside the Earth. Could we have succeeded with Curiosity finding
traces of organic matter on Mars? Join us today as we talk about this in more
detail! It wouldn’t take a genius to know that Mars
has been a popular pick on sci-fi films. Who can forget Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall? Besides that, there’s also Matt Damon’s
The Martian in 2015, John Carter in 2012, the Red Planet in 2000, and the most recent
one, 2019’s Ad Astra. If you’re an avid viewer of these types
of film, I’m sure you may have wondered if these scenarios are possible at some point. If you are a long time fan of this channel,
you know how much we love to talk about Mars! And who wouldn’t? I mean, this planet is practically our Earth’s
sister, and if there’s anything that we can say that is the best candidate in our
Solar System to HOPEFULLY host our species in the future, it would certainly be the Red
Planet. To recall, Mars is practically similar to
Earth in various numbers of ways. We both have an atmosphere, although in terms
of composition, they are practically different. Our rotational speeds are practically the
same, it’s just that Mars moves 2.7% slower. So with all that’s been going on with Mars,
what could probably be the most exciting news we would hear about it? New craters? Finding a sufficient atmosphere? Well, how about finding something that would
indicate the possibility of life existing at some point? Does that do anything for ‘ya? I’m sure it does! But before you go hiding underground into
your bunkers and go panic buying for supplies and weapons to prepare for an impending invasion,
I’m obliged to calm you down and tell you that “No, we won’t see those aliens with
popped eyes and huge brains with no skulls, or even some species of E.T. from Mars anytime
soon.” I know, that’s quite a bummer but I promise
you this story will be interesting. The news of finding evidence of life possibility
of Mars isn’t entirely something new. In 1996, the then US President Bill Clinton
presented to the press a sample from Antarctica discovered by Alan Hills in 1984. The rock named ALH84001 debris was suspected
to have ejected from Mars, and what’s special about it was that it contained traces of fossils
of what appear to be microbes! Sadly, at that conference, the press wasn’t
interested and Clinton was asked a more trivial question such as where did he get his tie. Plebs, am I right? Our planet has been sending expeditions to
study Mars ever since 2001. In fact, the whole world mourned when the
Opportunity rover sent its last transmission back in 2018 after covering almost 45 kilometers
and discovering a lot of useful information, one of which is the discovery of traces of
water activity on Mars. However, there are still a lot of expeditions
on the Red Planet working just as hard as our Oppy. For instance, in 2012, the Curiosity rover
landed on Mars with a specific goal in mind — or it’s programming rather. The rover landed on the Gale Crater, a land
depression spanning about 154 kilometers in diameter. What’s special about this is that astronomers
strongly suspect that this crater might have been a dried up lake, since there were indicators
there of ancient water activity, and as we know from biology, when there’s water, there’s
probably life. This is exactly what Curiosity’s mission
was: to perform some scraping and some small digging on the soil at Gale and hopefully
find something there that would indicate life or the possibility of it. And in 2018, Curiosity transmitted promising
results. What it found is one key factor in determining
life, organic molecules. So, let’s explore a bit about organic matter,
in case the previous sentence didn’t really do anything for you. When we say something is ‘organic’, what
it simply means is that it is related to something living or to life. In a more technical sense, organic molecules
are compounds paired with carbon to form a new one. So what’s so special about carbon? Well, all life here on Earth, more specifically,
life as we humans understand it, is a result of carbon compounds combining to more complex
forms. Specifically speaking, when something is alive,
it is made up of carbon compounds and quite expectedly, it is bound to emit or release
carbon compounds. Can you put things together at this point? I bet you already can, but in case you still
haven’t, the organic molecules found on Mars signify the presence of life at some
point in its history. And let’s stress that word out for a bit,
shall we? Take note that we used the word “signify”. We want to be careful as to not get the hype
extremely above our heads and out of control. What the findings indicate are simply a possibility,
although it doesn’t necessarily verify life, but still a possibility. Of course there is more to add to this later
on, but at least for the moment, let’s take it one step at a time. So, we found organic compounds on Mars, but
it doesn’t necessarily imply that there was or there currently is life on it. I mean, organic molecule production is not
an exclusive process, there are other means to make this besides having them emitted by
living things. They can also be made through energy from
light and heat, to name a few. One key compound that astronomers have discovered
that might indicate life on Mars was the presence of methane in the atmosphere. Now, this isn’t new as ESA’s Mars Express
orbiter first verified this back in 2004, but of course that only set the gears turning
on the interest about it. In fact, Mars’ atmosphere was detected to
have 60 ppbv or parts per billion volume. What Curiosity discovered was the amount of
methane in the vicinity of the Gale Crater varies in a seasonal manner. Specifically speaking, the rover detects the
highest levels of the gas at summer phases, while it detects the lowest at winter time. This indicates that there is some kind of
activity under the crater that causes it to freeze in winter and melt and evaporate in
summer. Does this mean there is life underneath the
crater? Well, not exactly. As we have mentioned earlier, organic molecule
production can occur even without the help of biological life. However, the point of controversy here is
that the amount of methane measured somehow appears to replenish itself. How do we know it gets replenished? Well, the nature of methane, and of course
all things, doesn’t really make it permanent. In fact, the light rays from the Sun will
eventually break down molecules of methane after several hundreds of years, and, this
is not the case for Mars. If there are tiny Martians watching this right
now from under the surface of Gale, we would love to hear from you. Send us a sign that you’re there! Another thing to consider is if the amount
of methane in the crater wasn’t caused by biological processes, it could, on the other
hand, indicate extraordinary geological processes going on from the planetary interior, which
is equally as interesting as finding life because it will lead us to more information
about the Red Planet. This is exactly the mission of NASA’s InSight
Lander, which landed on Mars in November 2018, which can dig up to 5 meters to test for geological
activity. I know we’ve come a long way in the story,
but the tale of finding organic molecules didn’t end with methane. Curiosity also found organic molecules that
are more complex than methane. Upon digging the Gale Crater, the rover stumbled
to mudstones that might have been billions of years old. These rocks are sedimentary and are most commonly
found submerged in bodies of water, such as at the bottom of oceans, lake floors, lagoons
or even rivers, and most importantly, a great place to store and grow organic compounds. Remember how scientists initially thought
the crater used to be a lake? These rocks attest to that hypothesis. So how exactly do these mudstones become integral
to finding organic molecules on Mars? The process goes like this. One of the core functions of the Curiosity
rover is to be able to dig at a certain depth and effectively take a few samples. Through the help of the rover’s very own
analysis suite called SAM, or Sample Analysis at Mars, the samples were heated up 500 degrees
Celsius, so that the organic molecules will be released in the form of gas. Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it? Not entirely. Some large organic molecules are not that
easy to vaporize due to the presence of sulfur, and when the presence of this element makes
it much harder to heat up. However, despite the challenge, the rover
still managed to isolate organic molecules from the mudstone, which included benzene,
toluene, small carbon chains such as propane and butane, and most importantly, the one
that we’re gonna talk about more, thiophenes..and a few isotopes of it. So what exactly is it that makes thiophenes
special? Before we dive more into that, let’s talk
a bit about thiophenes here on Earth. Here, these compounds are commonly found on
coals and oil crudes, and is most generally used for agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Besides the previously mentioned, thiophenes
can also be found in white truffles, which is a really expensive and familiar ingredient
for those who love exquisite culinary experiences. Okay, does this mean that there are Martian
mushrooms growing on the top of Gale Crater as we speak? Well, right around the time it was discovered,
not entirely. See, the samples which Curiosity took came
from a place that can really be easily tampered. The rover can only dig up to 5 centimeters. Do you have a key for your door in your pocket? Try to bury that to the ground. That’s about the best depth it dug on. Not really that much isn’t it? The compounds that are stored at a depth this
shallow are strongly influenced by radiation from outer space, either from the Sun or from
any other sources. Add to that the various other compounds in
the mudstone that could have heavily affected the organic ones, it is possible that the
thiophenes they have found might really be shredded parts of larger organic molecules
in the crater. It’s just that they haven’t dug deep enough
to be more certain about it. We can also attribute the presence of the
organic compounds to cosmological processes that happen frequently in our Solar System. For instance, asteroids or meteors could,
at some point, have reached the Gale Crater, which may have been carrying organic substances,
which later got embedded to the soil in the crater. As outrageous as it sounds, this is also a
valid possibility. After all, this is how a huge part of the
water in our planet came here. As servants of science, we can’t just throw
any possibility out of the window. We have to be open to a lot of possibilities. But all hope is not lost! Part of the InSight Lander’s mission is
to lower down a heat probe into the mudstones in Gale and attempt to discover whether the
larger organic molecules where the thiophene may have came from. Moreover, at around the start of the second
half of 2020, Russia’s Rosalind Franklin will bring the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer,
or MOMA, for short to aid the investigation of the compounds. Besides that, a recent publication on the
Astrobiology journal presented results that may increase the excitement on the search
and verification of organic molecules on Mars. According to the paper, the correlations found
in the analyses of the samples studies suggest that it might have been biological processes
that resulted in the presence of the organic compounds found on the mudstones. However, it’s still not mushrooms that might
have done it and they’re leaning towards inferring that it might have been a result
of bacterial processes. I guess Martian white truffle oil is still
a long, long way ahead in the future, but our astronomers are strongly motivated to
find the answers as soon as we can. Because of these results, the scientists recommended
to bring back samples specifically containing carbon and sulfur isotopes, as these are indicators
of organisms sustaining themselves. If we can find traces of what the organisms
treat as their “food”, we inch closer towards verifying the existence of life. I know some of you are bummed out to find
out that we’re still far ahead towards finding life on Mars, but think of it this way. The organic compounds from the Gale Crater
indicates that this place held up the necessary ingredients for life to have possibly existed. And who knows? Maybe life did exist or is currently existing
on Mars, but just not in the way that we know it. If you have watched the movie Evolution back
in 2001, the aliens there were nitrogen-based organisms, and it’s a strong possibility
not just for Mars but for other places as well. As astronaut Neil Armstrong once said, “One
small step for man is a giant leap for mankind.” We just need to hold on there and keep exploring! To end this episode, let me pass on a question
to you, my dear viewers: assuming we have are to find life on Mars, would they be of
similar composition as us? Are they going to be carbon-based, or are
they going to be based on something else? Do you think we’re closer to finding extraterrestrial
life? Let us know what you think! Leave your answers in the comment section
below. You know, one of the pastimes I enjoy is reading
what you wrote. I hope there’s a way to show you how grateful
we are for viewing! If you like this episode, don’t forget to
press the like button to keep us going. If you like content like these showing up
on your feeds, why don’t you click on that subscribe button and the bell icon too so
that you get notified whenever something new comes up? We release new videos almost every day! See you soon! Stay insanely curious!

32 Comments found

User

infinitecosmos multiverse

We knew it before Brother ! And in July or august our "perseverance" Rover is going to prove this Assumption absolutely Bro ! Love you Bro !!!

Reply
User

anthony haney

6:50 … if that is a photo from mars. Why do I see a plant in the upper left corner…

Reply
User

Cesar Zuluaga

Almost 4 minutes of bla bla with no information

Reply
User

Tim

awesome content keep it up

Reply
User

Tim

amazing video keep it up bro

Reply
User

L H

Click bait?

Reply
User

Jeff Burnham

Clickbait title. Scientists have long speculated that there may have been life on Mars at one time, and fossilized microbes prove that it may have existed at one time, but it has never been 100% proven that life in any form exists on the planet today.

Reply
User

Paul Dunham

I heard that Mars might have life on it because we put it there.Microbes on the probes from Earth the probes are not 100% sterile

Reply
User

TunnelSnake9337

What if those microbes 🦠 grew into aliens and then they became just as advanced as us then they wanted earth and we had war of the worlds! Bunch of brutes invade earth like from destiny

Reply
User

Hamad Tahir

Face reveal?

Reply
User

francesco fortunati

i wouldn't know whether to be happy or not for trace of life on mars. If there is that would drastically increase the probability of life in countless other planets in the universe, but then where are they? One my theory would be that something in the interstellar space would block unnatural radiations, that's why i would really appreciate the help of an expert to evaluate the data from the voyagers

Reply
User

Erogenesis Art

(edit: title was changed! Kudos to Insane Curiosity. Original comment below:)
Be careful with that title. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it, but I felt a little disappointed with the 'possible' 'ifs' 'buts' in the video. It's not confirmed yet, so don't make it sound like it is, please. We're all VERY excited by the prospect, so please don't toy with this subject. It's kind of a big deal.

The video itself is great, lots of exciting information and it's almost certain that there was life on Mars, but it's far from confirmed unfortunately. I recommend: "Life on Mars extremely likely.".

Keep up the great work, but don't use these kind of titles.

Reply
User

lurch ibold

If there were mushroom lifeforms out there, they would look at the life on this planet and find it curiously puzzling. Why don't we look like them or vice versa, they would probably wonder to themselves. Our ways of life are identical, kept in the dark and fed ** ** (you know the last bit lol),

Reply
User

Hummmminify

I think and have thought for a long time that there may be an exotic form of mushroom life in caves and tunnels below the surface of Mars. I like to think that many of them will be bioluminescent and finding them will be a revelation. I also speculate that the Earthhians will merge with the Martians and live happily ever after because the gift the Martians will bring with them is immortality. How is that for a speculation?

Reply
User

James Alan

Won't be similar to use due to the environment

Reply
User

steve mathis

You deserve way more subs love the videos

Reply
User

Ben Nosrati

We are in a solar system that life is based on carbon as we are on earth. So any type of life on Mars would be based on Carbon.

Reply
User

steve mathis

I believe there has to be life out there trillion of stars most with planets we cant be the only planet with life no way

Reply
User

M CUBED

How in the world do you leave out Mars Attacks!!!

Reply
User

24tanksalot

Several years ago the world leaders gathered at the batter can to discuss how the world will handle finding life outside our planet it's just a matter of time And most of all Transparent honesty

Reply
User

Damarys Dingui

I think some of those images were taken from The Grand Canyon..🤔
I'm glad that I don't know how to swim, because I will definitely not going to swim in that water full of sharks..😱
Thanks for the great video..💖

Reply
User

FoxBoss_ Taki-kun

It will be Sun based…

Reply
User

Cloud Man

I won't believe there is no life until they explore underground. Think about how the earth works it has layers Mars has layers the livable zone would be near the mantle if it's still hot

Reply
User

Harvey Holloway

6:46 Love the earth based shrubs in the pictures of mars.

Reply
User

bamboosa

Traces of organic matter. Never mind the 29 thousand artifacts of huminoid habitation strewn about.

Reply
User

Mr Otaku

Thank you for the video. I appreciate it and loved the martian photographs. <3

Reply
User

DarthVader20201

👍

Reply
User

Frank Curran

Hah hah

Reply
User

Ivan Sinel

Is that curiosity real?

Reply
User

Freedomrun32

Meanwhile back here on Earth… : (

Reply
User

robsycko

That means that Crude Oil is organic. Thus making gasoline organic. Fact!

Reply
User

robsycko

They found living microbes on the outside of the ISS.

Reply

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *