Today’s Video of the Day from NASA reveals the discovery of organic molecules that have been preserved in surface rocks on Mars for billions of years. While it is not yet clear if the carbon-containing material was produced from living or non-living sources, the existence of organic molecules on the planet provides scientists with evidence that the conditions of Mars may have once been habitable.
The rocks were detected by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which heated the stones by 500 degrees Celsius to release the hydrocarbons. In collaboration with the European Space Agency, NASA will send a new generation of rovers to Mars in 2020 to search for further signs of microbial life.
Video Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Dan Gallagher