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The molecules were actually extracted by the Curiosity rover from a mudstone section of the Gale Crater called the Murray Formation; a study on the finding was published in 2018. The initial experiments revealed a number of molecules, including a group of aromatic compounds called thiophenes.
Here on Earth, these compounds are usually found in some pretty interesting places. They show up in crude oil - made of compressed and superheated dead organisms such as zooplankton and algae; and coal - made of compressed and superheated dead plants.
The compound is thought to form abiotically - that is, through a physical process, not a biological one - when sulphur reacts with organic hydrocarbons at temperatures greater than 120 degrees Celsius (248°F), a reaction called thermochemical sulphate reduction (TSR).
However, while this reaction is abiotic, the hydrocarbons and sulphur can both be of biological origin. So, researchers set out to investigate how thiophenes could have formed on Mars.
But there's something interesting about the Martian thiophenes. The processes described above require the sulphur to be nucleophilic, that is, the sulphur atoms donate electrons to form a bond with their reaction partner. Yet most of the sulphur on Mars exists as non-nucleophilic sulphates.
"We identified several biological pathways for thiophenes that seem more likely than chemical ones, but we still need proof," said astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University.
"If you find thiophenes on Earth, then you would think they are biological, but on Mars, of course, the bar to prove that has to be quite a bit higher."
The question whether organic compounds occur on Mars remained unanswered for decades. However, the recent discovery of various classes of organic matter in martian sediments by the Curiosity rover seems to strongly suggest that indigenous organic compounds exist on Mars.
One intriguing group of detected organic compounds were thiophenes, which typically occur on Earth in kerogen, coal, and crude oil as well as in stromatolites and microfossils. Here we provide a brief synopsis of conceivable pathways for the generation and degradation of thiophenes on Mars.
We show that the origin of thiophene derivatives can either be biotic or abiotic, for example, through sulfur incorporation in organic matter during early diagenesis. The potential of thiophenes to represent martian biomarkers is discussed as well as a correlation between abundancies of thiophenes and sulfate-bearing minerals.
Finally, this study provides suggestions for future investigations on Mars and in Earth-based laboratories to answer the question whether the martian thiophenes are of biological origin.
I'll repeat. there has never been any life on mars we would've found something by now
In 1976, NASA's twin Viking landers touched down on Mars in an attempt to answer a weighty question: Is there life on the Red Planet?
Gilbert Levin was the principal investigator of the Vikings' Labeled Release (LR) life-detection experiment. The instrument got positive responses at both landing locales. However, scientists did not reach a consensus on whether his results were proof of life.
In 1997, Levin concluded that the experiment had, indeed, detected life on Mars — and he has championed that viewpoint ever since.
originally posted by: seedofchucky
I'll repeat. there has never been any life on mars we would've found something by now .
Billions spent on a educated guess, ego keeps us digging more to justify it . Its getting sad to see the straws people will grab for just to paint a maybe picture....