The findings point to a similar climate on ancient Mars to that found on Earth

The findings point to a similar climate on ancient Mars to that found on Earth

Signs of extraterrestrial life? The human race continues to astonish scientists as they work to find an answer. The NASA Curiosity rover has seen manganese in several locations on Mars, which is a recent and significant development. But more of it was discovered by the rover at the Gale crater.

The onboard ChemCam instrument of the rover identified the deposits. The manganese deposits may have formed in a river, delta, or close to the coast of an old lake, according to the research, which was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets on May 1.

Lead author Patrick Gasda of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Space Science and Applications group remarked, as cited by, “We didn’t expect to find manganese oxide in such high concentrations in a shoreline deposit because it is difficult for manganese oxide to form on the surface of Mars.”

“On Earth, these types of deposits happen all the time because of the high oxygen in our atmosphere produced by photosynthetic life, and from microbes that help catalyze those manganese oxidation reactions,” he added.

It is truly unknown how manganese oxide was created and concentrated here on Mars, as there is no evidence of life on the planet and no apparent process for producing oxygen in the planet’s old atmosphere. These results indicate that there is still more work to be done in order to fully understand oxidation on Mars, as they point to broader processes taking place in the Martian atmosphere or surface water,” said Gasda.

The researchers examined the findings and examined potential sources of manganese enrichment in the Martian sands. They also looked for an oxidant that might be causing the manganese to precipitate in the rocks. The availability of manganese on Earth was compared with the findings in the research.

On Earth, oxygen in the atmosphere causes manganese deposits, and the presence of bacteria usually speeds up this process. Notably, the various oxidation states of manganese can be used by Natural organisms as a source of energy for metabolism.

If there had been life on ancient Mars, it would have depended heavily on the higher amounts of manganese found in the rocks near the lake.

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