A small meteorite of Martian origin, fell on the Earth in 2011, may contain traces of “biological” carbon, said on Tuesday, researchers, thus reviving the debate about the presence of forms life on Mars. Ejected from Mars by an asteroid impact, the Martian rock named “Tissint” or “NWA 7397” and having cavities filled with traces of carbon material, had landed in Morocco’s desert July 18, 2011.
These traces have pushed the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and an international team (China, Japan and Germany) to conduct an analysis whose results “argue for a biological origin of these inclusions” carbon, a statement of EPFL.
Researchers estimate in this study published in “Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences,” that “they would follow the infiltration of a liquid rich in organic matter in the cracks of the rock when it was still on the red Planet. “
“So far, no further explanation convinces us more,” said the director of the Laboratory of Earth Sciences and planets of the EPFL, Philippe Gillet. Several research teams have already been able to demonstrate that the “NWA 7397” came from Mars and that this component was organic.
But the debate about the origin of this carbon is in full swing. Chemical analysis, microscopic and isotopic carbon material that has “shown that these inclusions were trapped in the meteorite before it is ejected from Mars to the Earth,” the researcher said.
The latter consider “likely” that this material has been deposited at low temperature in the cracks “by infiltrating a liquid rich in organic compounds.” Mr. Gillet acknowledges that “it is difficult to give Klitschko certainty, especially in such a sensitive area”, saying “open to what other studies contradict” it.
“Our findings, however, are likely to actively revive the debate on the possible existence of biological activity on Mars, at least in the past,” if it pleased. NWA 7397 or Tissint, landed near the village of Tissint in the Tata region of southern Morocco.
It was not until October of that year to find the first fragment of the rock. “Its classification was carried out by Professor. Tony Irving of the University of Washington (USA) showed that it is a Martian meteorite shergottite type” then explained Pr. Hasnaa Chennaoui, having led team of the Hassan II University in Casablanca which was responsible for identifying the exact location of its fall.