The researchers extracted fragments of minerals.
In the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001, found in 1984 in Antarctica by Japanese scientists found nitrogen-containing organic molecules. This means that on Mars there was organic matter that could be brought by meteorites or formed on the planet, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to Country.
The results of the study of the heavenly bodies is published in Nature Communications.
Still in meteorites from Mars were trying to find nitrogenous compounds due to technical difficulties: previously it was thought that meteorites are inevitably contaminated by organic matter of terrestrial origin.
However, members of the Institute of space and Astronautical science JAXA has developed a new analysis method that allowed to find in the meteorite nitrogen-containing compounds. Allan Hills 84001 contains orange fine-grained formation of carbonate minerals, precipitated from near-surface Martian water approximately 3.9–4,04 billion years ago.
Using a silver double-sided sticky tape, the researchers extracted a few grains of such minerals with a size of about 50 micrometers and irradiated samples of x-rays. To exclude contamination of samples with earthly substances, all experiments were performed in a clean laboratory. In the end, in carbonate grains was discovered the nitrogen is part of organic molecules.
The authors of the study believe that these substances were formed on Mars or been brought to the surface of the planet with meteorites.
If organic matter in a significant number and variety of formation was recorded on Mars and have survived in its surface layers, it has a chance to develop into more complex forms. It happened or not, can show further fences soil samples on Mars and studying them.
Last year, NASA scientists using the Curiosity Rover conducted a study on Mars has found methane, which often indicates the presence of life.