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did-life-ever-exist-on-mars?-nasa’s-perseverance-rover-finds-organic-matter-in-rock-samples

火星上曾经存在过生命吗?美国宇航局的毅力号探测器在岩石样本中发现了有机物

Did life ever exist on Mars? NASA’s Perseverance rover finds organic matter in rock samples

According to NASA, several rock samples containing organic matter were found in Jezero Crater, a 28-mile wide crater home to what scientists believe was once a river delta that formed about 3.5 billion years ago.

据美国国家航空航天局称,在杰瑟罗陨石坑(Jezero Crater)发现了几个含有有机质的岩石样本。杰瑟罗陨石坑宽28英里,科学家们认为这里曾经是大约35亿年前形成的河流三角洲

“Jezero was selected for this mission because… it allows us to explore an ancient habitable environment (and) it allows us to seek evidence of possible, Martin life in rocks deposited at that time, about 3 and-a-half billion years ago,” Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley said in a recorded panel about the rover’s findings.

“毅力”号项目的科学家肯·法利在一个关于探测器发现的记录小组中说:“选择杰瑟罗进行这次任务是因为……它使我们能够探索一个古老的宜居环境,并使我们能够在大约35亿年前沉积的岩石中寻找可能存在生命的证据。”

“I want to emphasize, this mission is not looking for extant life, things that are alive today. Instead, we are looking into the very distant past, when Mars’ climate was very different than it is today,” Farley added.

“我想强调的是,这项任务不是寻找现存的生命,也就是今天还活着的东西。相反,我们正在研究非常遥远的过去,那时火星的气候与今天非常不同,”法利补充说。

Perseverance launched in July 2020, and made its February 2021 landing in Jezero Crater. Since July 7 of this year, NASA says, the rover has collected four samples from the delta—bringing the total number of collected, “scientifically compelling rock samples” to 12.

“毅力”号于2020年7月发射,并于2021年2月在杰瑟罗陨石坑着陆。NASA表示,自今年7月7日以来,探测车已经从该三角洲收集了4个样本——使收集到的“具有科学说服力的岩石样本”的总数达到了12个。

Martian rocks with organic matter

带有有机物的火星岩石

Perseverance is currently studying the delta’s sedimentary rocks. The rover previously explored Jezero Crater’s floor, finding igneous rocks. The contrast of the two “provides us with a rich understanding of the geologic history after the crater formed and a diverse sample suite,” Farley said in a news release.

“毅力”号目前正在研究三角洲的沉积岩。火星车之前曾探索过杰瑟罗陨石坑的底部,发现了火成岩。法利在一份新闻稿中说,两者的对比“为我们提供了对陨石坑形成后的地质历史的丰富理解和多样化的样本集合”。

For example, the project scientist pointed to one collected mudstone that contains “intriguing organic compounds.”

例如,该项目的科学家指出,一种收集到的泥岩含有“有趣的有机化合物”。

With the help of an instrument called Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals, or SHERLOC, organic molecules were found in “Wildcat Ridge,” a 3 foot-wide rock believed to have formed with mud and fine sand in an evaporating saltwater lake billions of years ago.

借助一种名为“用拉曼和发光扫描有机和化学物质的宜居住环境”(SHERLOC)的仪器,有机分子在“野猫岭”(Wildcat Ridge)中被发现,这是一块3英尺宽的岩石,据信是数十亿年前由泥浆和细沙在一个蒸发的咸水湖中形成的。

“It’s clear that we’re uncovering a bigger story than what’s happening in Jezero Crater. We found signals that we think are possibly from organic matter on every target that we’ve observed with SHERLOC to date,” Sunanda Sharma, SHERLOC scientist, said in the panel.

“很明显,我们正在揭开一个比杰瑟罗火山口发生的事情更大的故事。我们在SHERLOC观测到的每个目标上都发现了我们认为可能来自有机物的信号,”SHERLOC科学家Sunanda Sharma在小组中说。

Sharma added that this wasn’t “unexpected,” as it aligns with previous research. “However, it does say that organics seem to persist in the very harsh Martian surface environment, which is very exciting for us.”

Sharma补充说,这并不“出乎意料”,因为它与之前的研究一致。“然而,它确实表明,有机物似乎能在非常恶劣的火星表面环境中存活下来,这让我们非常兴奋。”

According to NASA, Curiosity Mars rover previously found evidence of organic matter in rock-powder samples back in 2013. Perseverance has also detected organics in Jezero Crater before, but the latest finding was made in an area with conditions that would’ve allowed life to exist in the distant past, scientists say.

据美国宇航局称,好奇号火星探测器早在2013年就在岩石粉末样本中发现了有机物的证据。科学家们说,“毅力”此前也在杰瑟罗陨石坑中探测到了有机物,但最新的发现是在遥远的过去允许生命存在的条件下进行的。

Read more at Phys.org

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