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Diverse organic-mineral associations in Jezero crater, Mars
California Institute of Technology, USA.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, Product Realisation Methodology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4975-6074
Impossible Sensing LLC, USA.
Number of Authors: 512023 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 619, no 7971, p. 724-732Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The presence and distribution of preserved organic matter on the surface of Mars can provide key information about the Martian carbon cycle and the potential of the planet to host life throughout its history. Several types of organic molecules have been previously detected in Martian meteorites1 and at Gale crater, Mars2–4. Evaluating the diversity and detectability of organic matter elsewhere on Mars is important for understanding the extent and diversity of Martian surface processes and the potential availability of carbon sources1,5,6. Here we report the detection of Raman and fluorescence spectra consistent with several species of aromatic organic molecules in the Máaz and Séítah formations within the Crater Floor sequences of Jezero crater, Mars. We report specific fluorescence-mineral associations consistent with many classes of organic molecules occurring in different spatial patterns within these compositionally distinct formations, potentially indicating different fates of carbon across environments. Our findings suggest there may be a diversity of aromatic molecules prevalent on the Martian surface, and these materials persist despite exposure to surface conditions. These potential organic molecules are largely found within minerals linked to aqueous processes, indicating that these processes may have had a key role in organic synthesis, transport or preservation. © 2023, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Research , 2023. Vol. 619, no 7971, p. 724-732
Keywords [en]
carbon cycle, fluorescence, Mars, organic matter, planetary atmosphere, planetary surface
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-65725DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06143-zScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164522216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-65725DiVA, id: diva2:1786350
Note

We acknowledge the entire Mars 2020 Perseverance rover team. The research described in this paper was partially carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant award no. 80NM0018D0004. The SHERLOC team is supported by the NASA Mars 2020 Phase E funds to the SHERLOC investigation. S. Siljeström acknowledges funding from the Swedish National Space Agency (contract nos. 137/19 and 2021-00092). T.F. acknowledges funding from Italian Space Agency (ASI) grant agreement no. ASI/INAF no. 2017-48-H-0. S. Shkolyar acknowledges support from NASA under grant award no. 80GSFC21M0002.

Available from: 2023-08-08 Created: 2023-08-08 Last updated: 2023-08-08Bibliographically approved

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