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Big dust storm on red planet forcefully ceases activities of NASA’s Opportunity

13 June 2018

The huge dust tempest is now afflicting the Mars, due to which the agency declared the adjournment of the scientific operations being conducted over the NASA's MER-B, which also called as MER-1 or Opportunity rover, while the agency is expecting the storm to abate.

Siebach, who considers herself somewhat of a skeptic, says these most recent discoveries are starting to change her opinion about whether we might find proof of life on Mars.

"What we're seeing on Mars is something that tells us that either life was present or that the building blocks that could be built into life were present", he said. Some other also confirmed sharp seasonal increase of methane and from biological evidence methane comes from living lives and environmental conditions. "I'm confident that our ongoing and planned missions will unlock even more breathtaking discoveries on the Red Planet".

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Mars, name after the Roman god of war, appears red because of the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface.

The mudstone rock was drilled from the top five centimetres of the Martian surface and heated in a miniature analysis lab located on board the rover. "Both radiation and harsh chemicals break down organic matter", said Eigenbrode. The source of the organic molecules could be anything, and while the presence of methane on Mars could be a result of organic interactions, methane can also be a effect of geological processes. That vehicle would also need to land with precision - mainly not mountains or hills or rocks.

Water-rock chemistry might have generated the methane, but scientists can not rule out the possibility of biological origins. The probe's measurements should allow researchers to make global maps of methane and other low-abundance gases in Mars' air, ESA officials have said. Another lead author JPL's Christopher Webster said its first time Martian methane has shown a repeated pattern. "This is all possible because of Curiosity's longevity". This mudstone gradually formed billions of years ago from silt that accumulated at the bottom of the ancient lake.

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The difference between Monday and Tuesday could differ exponentially and the average temperature is way below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the molecules identified include thiophenes, benzene, toluene, and small carbon chains, such as propane or butene.

The MOMA instrument will be capable of detecting a wide variety of organic molecules.

Taking the measurements was a slow process since a year on Mars lasts two Earth years. In the days to come, the dust storm may expand further, having already blanketed the Perseverance Valley, which is where NASA's Opportunity rover is stationed.

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Big dust storm on red planet forcefully ceases activities of NASA’s Opportunity