The space-news web site NASASpaceFlight writes:
While organic compounds have been confirmed on the Martian surface and near-surface areas since 2018, new Earth-based experiments point to a potentially tantalizing series of signatures from Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument that could indicate the presence of organic salts at the rover's Gale Crater location. What's more, the new research from a team led by J. M. T. Lewis, an organic geochemist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, points to further potential evidence that organic salts might be prevalent across the Martian terrain. The hard part is conclusively detecting them.
For decades, scientists theorized that organic compounds were almost certainly to have been preserved to some detectable degree in the Martian surface environment. In 2018, Curiosity's instruments allowed Eigenbrode et al. to conclusively prove that they were in fact there. In turn, if organic compounds were present at one time, their by-products — organic salts — would still be around as well, even given the harsh radiation environment of Mars compared to Earth.
While organic compounds and organic salts can form from the presence of microbial life, they can also form from geologic processes. Though not confirmed, organic salts would be further evidence that organic matter once existed on Mars' surface, and, if they are still present, could support hypothetical microbial life on Mars today, as some life on Earth uses organic salt as food/energy.
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