Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars

  title={Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars},
  author={Jennifer L. Eigenbrode and Roger Everett Summons and Andrew Steele and Caroline Freissinet and Maeva Millan and Rafael Navarro‐Gonz{\'a}lez and Brad Sutter and Amy C. McAdam and Heather B. Franz and Daniel P. Glavin and Paul Douglas Archer and Paul R. Mahaffy and Pamela G. Conrad and Joel A. Hurowitz and John P. Grotzinger and Sanjeev Gupta and Doug W. Ming and Dawn Y. Sumner and Cyril Szopa and Charles Malespin and Arnaud Buch and Patrice Coll},
  pages={1096 - 1101}
Measuring martian organics and methane The Curiosity rover has been sampling on Mars for the past 5 years (see the Perspective by ten Kate). Eigenbrode et al. used two instruments in the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) suite to catch traces of complex organics preserved in 3-billion-year-old sediments. Heating the sediments released an array of organics and volatiles reminiscent of organic-rich sedimentary rock found on Earth. Most methane on Earth is produced by biological sources, but numerous… 

In-situ preservation of nitrogen-bearing organics in Noachian Martian carbonates

A new technique is employed to assess organic nitrogen compounds in a Martian meteorite, concluding that these compounds are indeed likely to originate from the Red Planet.

Brine-driven destruction of clay minerals in Gale crater, Mars

It is proposed that destabilization of silicate minerals driven by silica-poor brines (rarely observed on Earth) was widespread on ancient Mars, because sulfate deposits are globally distributed.

Searching for biosignatures in sedimentary rocks from early Earth and Mars

The recognition of past habitable environments on Mars has increased the urgency to understand biosignature preservation in and characterize analogues of these environments on Earth. In this Review,

Detection of organic carbon in Mars-analog paleosols with thermal and 1 evolved gas analysis 2 3 4

37 Decades of space exploration have shown that surface environments on Mars were habitable 38 billions of years ago. Ancient, buried surface environments, or paleosols, may have been preserved 39 in

A Review of the Phyllosilicates in Gale Crater as Detected by the CheMin Instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, landed on Mars in August 2012 to investigate the ~3.5-billion-year-old (Ga) fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary deposits of Aeolis Mons (informally known

Detection of Organic Carbon in Mars‐Analog Paleosols With Thermal and Evolved Gas Analysis

Ancient, buried soils, or paleosols, may have been preserved in the geological record on Mars, and are considered high‐priority targets for biosignature investigation. Studies of paleosols on Earth

Organic carbon concentrations in 3.5-billion-year-old lacustrine mudstones of Mars

  • J. SternC. Malespin P. Mahaffy
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2022
Significance This work presents the first quantification of bulk organic carbon in Mars surface sedimentary rocks, enabled by a stepped combustion experiment performed by the Curiosity Rover in Gale

Indigenous and exogenous organics and surface–atmosphere cycling inferred from carbon and oxygen isotopes at Gale crater

Since landing at Gale crater, Mars, in August 2012, the Curiosity rover has searched for evidence of past habitability, such as organic compounds, which have proved elusive to previous missions. We



Volatile and Organic Compositions of Sedimentary Rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the Mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinatedHydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and

Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars

The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars.

Preservation of martian organic and environmental records: final report of the Mars biosignature working group.

This report presents the report of a working group chartered by the Co-Chairs of NASA's MSL Project Science Group, John P. Grotzinger and Michael A. Meyer, to review and evaluate potential for biosignature formation and preservation on Mars.

Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune

The sample analysis at Mars instrument evolved gas analyzer (SAM‐EGA) has detected evolved water, H2, SO2, H2S, NO, CO2, CO, O2, and HCl from two eolian sediments and nine sedimentary rocks from Gale

The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed,

Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars

Chlorinated hydrocarbons identified in the Sheepbed mudstone by SAM are the reaction products of Martian chlorine and organic carbon derived from Martian sources or exogenous sources such as meteorites, comets, or interplanetary dust particles.

Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars

The results will aid the understanding of where and when Mars was once habitable and constrain the chemical environment within the lake in Gale crater, as well as short- and long-term climate variations in and around Gale crater.

Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars

The observations suggest that individual lakes were stable on the ancient surface of Mars for 100 to 10,000 years, a minimum duration when each lake was stable both thermally (as liquid water) and in terms of mass balance (with inputs effectively matching evaporation and loss of water to colder regions).

Abundances and implications of volatile‐bearing species from evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity detected evolved gases during thermal analysis of soil samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in