The debate about the possibility of life on Mars has been going on for a long time. Although the atmosphere of Mars is highly rarefied and generally very cold, Mars is still relatively close to Earth. But the latest finding of Russian scientists has become an extra argument in favor of skeptics.
The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences reported that Russian scientists discovered chlorohydrin in the atmosphere of Mars for the first time, and this casts doubt on the hypothesis of the existence of life on the planet, – notes theins.ru.
“There are forms of life that are not common, understandable and expected, but nevertheless, modern biology does not exclude such forms of life. So hydrogen chloride, of course, our enthusiasm for the existence of life forms as we imagine it on Earth probably rules it out. But there are other forms of life,” commented Nathan Eismont, lead researcher at the institute.
Nathan Eismont added that if a manned expedition from Earth will fly to Mars, the presence of hydrogen chloride in the atmosphere will not be an obstacle to research, as the concentration of this substance is still small. Although in itself this gas is poisonous, it was found on Earth itself.
Prior to that, the presence of hydrogen chloride has been recorded only on Venus. For many years, scientists have assumed it could be on Mars, but they couldn’t find it experimentally, – notes inkazan.ru. Measurements began in April 2018 during one Martian year. The presence of hydrogen chloride was recorded after the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere.
Previously, high levels of methane were also found on Mars. It was reported that this may just mean the existence of microorganisms on the planet. On Earth, the source of gas is microorganisms, but methane can also be formed by the interaction of rocks and water.
Researchers speculate that chlorohydrin, detected with the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite spectrometer on the Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft of the Russian-European project ExoMars-2016, appeared in the atmosphere of Mars during a global dust storm and began to gradually disappear after its end. But its discovery, in any case, makes it necessary to reconsider the models of chemical reactions associated with the interaction between the surface and atmosphere of Mars.
Yesterday, February 10, the Chinese probe Tianwen-1 reached the orbit of Mars. The purpose of this expedition is called to search for traces of life on Mars. In addition, scientists hope to obtain data on the possibility of colonization of the red planet earthlings. A day earlier, the space agency of the United Arab Emirates reported that its automatic interplanetary station Al Amal also successfully entered into orbit on Mars, overcoming a distance of nearly 500 million kilometers.