Unraveling the Secrets of Mars’ Atmosphere: A Landmark Discovery by the European Space Agency

Whispers from outer space never stop. It is the echoes of the past that break the cosmic silence. Charged with energy, so devoid of everything and absolutely nothing. Like a giant cardboard box that plays into the infinite and keeps expanding. Homer Simpson said the universe was like a donut. And if so, each of the colorful shavings that adorn it are the planets, stars, and satellites that make up this strange galactic melody. Each one has its own history, a vestige of those that occasionally slip through the galactic lions. One of the most common is Mars.

Investigations into the possibility that At one time life roamed freely on neighboring Mars more than frequent. Studies are piling up. Some talk of ancient rivers that have dried up for many suns. Others emerge from its geology. The last one refers to Atmospheric as a tale of those years buried in red sand.

From the mystery of life to a cocktail of sunlight

It was a discovery ExoMars Tracking Tropical Gas (TGO) The European Space Agency, which supports a theory that scientists have previously considered. And on this occasion, the layer of gas that surrounds Mars It gave them an idea that is no less than historical. It turns out It consists of carbon monoxide with less heavy carbon than they expected. Where the doubts started was a year ago, when it was NASA Curiosity rover Putting a robotic foot on Mars.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem important. the Typical chemical terms that one does not understand This appears to be similar to several unpublished discoveries. However, the result has an immediate translation: There is an explanation for some compounds of organic matter Carbon-based – found in the soil of the Red Planet. They would not be an indication of life, but rather the result of a galactic makeup: A combination of sunlight and complex chemical processes.

Photo by Handout / CNES / VR2Planet 2021 / AFPnoteFrance Press agency

The researchers came to this conclusion after subjecting them complete analysis All the data TGO was able to collect after eight amazing orbits between March and April 2022. Kind of a blind man’s buff. This is the hand that NOMAD (Nadir Occultation for Mars Discovery) has played to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

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Like in that pink cake

Shuhei Aoki He is the lead author of the study published in Planetary Science Journal. “Measuring the ratio of carbon isotopes in carbon monoxide is an effective way to understand where the planet’s organic matter comes from Reveal the habitable history of MarsHe said, catching in a few pages the echoes of her planetary past.

The scientific background of the research is simpler than the chemical formulas would suggest. There are two isotopes of carbon in the atmosphere: 12 and 13. the first is predominant; The second, heavier. It’s just a matter of measuring the relative abundance of isotopes, and the result speaks for itself. When the rover touched down in Gale Crater, it made several important sediments there Writing a book after 3.5 billion years “Easy” task.

“Any phenomenon on Mars that may be caused by life is cause for excitement, But our findings point in a different directionAdded co-author of the report, Yuichiro Ueno. An alchemical path is followed, which is in fact an endless path of effects and consequences. Like down to earth. Like in that pink cake.

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