Life on Mars? Implication from analog websites in Qaidam Basin, northwestern China


In the middle could be seen (a) Sampling places of Dalangtan and Qarhan within the Qaidam Basin; (b) distribution of floor samples; (c) part DLT-P3; (d) part CEH-P3. Credit: Science China Press

Astrobiology is a scientific discipline that research the origin,evolution, and distribution of life and habitability within the universe. Mars is probably the most promising planet for the invention of extraterrestrial life within the solar system; thus, exploration of Martian life and liveable atmosphere have been a particular focus in planetary science.

Salts deposits are the important thing targets for exploring traces oflife on Mars, together with potential natural molecules of biogenic origin. As there isn’t any Martian pattern returned to Earth, and human beings should not in a position to attain Mars for experiments to this point, analogy researchs on Earth are the primary technique for finding out life in Martian salt deposits.

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The steady drought, robust ultraviolet radiation and numerous landforms have made Qaidam Basin a perfect Martain analog web site. In this paper, Dr. Cheng (School of Geography and Tourism, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics) and Dr. Xiao (State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, Planetary Science Institute, China University of Geosciences) decide the distribution of the lipid of the salt sediments within the Qaidam Basin (see picture under)and evaluate these outcomes with that of the standard Martain analog websites.

The staff discovered that salt samples within the Qaidam Basin are enriched with fatty acid compounds, GDGTs and archaeol compounds have been additionally detectedin these salt samples. Compared with the hypersaline samples, the clay samples not solely have the next abundance of fatty acids,GDGTs and archaeol compounds, but in addition a extra numerous lipids composition. The distribution of lipids within the salt deposits from the Qaidam Basin supplies an necessary reference for Mars.

The analysis was revealed in Science China Earth Sciences.

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More data:
Ziye Cheng et al, Distribution traits of lipids from salt sediments in Qaidam Basin and their astrobiological significance, Science China Earth Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s11430-021-9812-2

Life on Mars? Implication from analog websites in Qaidam Basin, northwestern China (2021, October 29)
retrieved 29 October 2021

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