As NASA’s rover Perseverance explores the floor of Mars, scientists attempting to find indicators of historic life on the distant planet are utilizing information gathered on a mission a lot nearer to house at a lake in southwest Turkey.
NASA says the minerals and rock deposits at Salda are the closest match on Earth to these across the Jezero Crater the place the spacecraft landed and which is believed to have as soon as been flooded with water.
Information gathered from Lake Salda might assist the scientists as they seek for fossilised traces of microbial life preserved in sediment thought to have been deposited across the delta and the long-vanished lake it as soon as fed.
“Salda … will serve as a powerful analogue in which we can learn and interrogate,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA affiliate administrator for science, informed Reuters.
A group of American and Turkish planetary scientists carried out analysis in 2019 on the shorelines of the lake, generally known as Turkey’s Maldives due to its azure water and white shores.
Scientists consider that the sediments across the lake eroded from massive mounds which are shaped with the assistance of microbes and are generally known as microbialites.
The group behind the Perseverance rover, essentially the most superior astrobiology lab ever flown to a different world, needs to seek out out whether or not there are microbialites in Jezero Crater.
They will even evaluate the seaside sediments from Salda with carbonate minerals – shaped from carbon dioxide and water, a key ingredient for all times – detected on the margins of Jezero Crater.
“When we find something at Perseverance we can go back to look at Lake Salda to really look at both processes, (looking at) similarities but equally importantly differences that are really between Perseverance and Lake Salda,” Zurbuchen stated.
“So we are really glad we have that lake, just because I think it will be with us for a long time”.
Samples of rock drilled from Martian soil are to be saved on the floor for eventual retrieval and supply to Earth by two future robotic missions, as early as 2031.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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