In case you haven’t heard, Curiosity is reporting the discovery of carbon compounds on Mars. NASA still isn’t sure if these compounds are inorganic carbon compounds, former living things, or carbon compound ‘rain’ from space.
This is one of those things that I find it hard to maintain neutrality on. I want there to be/have been life on Mars. That’s just so cool.
I’m sure we’ll here a lot more about this as the days go by.
One thing that caught my eye though. These are the same types of compounds captured by the Viking landers over 30 years ago. Those signals were finally classified as caused by the cleaning solvents used on the landers. However, those solvents weren’t used on Curiosity and they are the same.
That’s a clue that it’s not Earth contamination, but definitely something on Mars. Now, whether it is life or just inorganic compounds… that remains to be seen.