Finding boron on Mars signifies that many chemical reactions would have occurred on the Red planet giving rise to organics.
This is already the second confirmation of the presence of boron on Mars after the 2013 confirmation that a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica indeed contained the chemical. However, if it also hosted life has been a matter of debate. But not all hope is lost-new discoveries from NASA’s Curiosity rover have brought forth more compelling evidence of habitability on Mars. It is the huge boost in the missing link for hunt of extraterrestrials, that boron is detected at the Gale Crater of the Mars.
The location of detection of boron, i.e., calcium-sulphate-filled fractures also provides evidence that the element might have been present in ground water. He also added that borates act as a bridge between RNA and simple organic molecule and without RNA there is no life. The researchers believe the presence of the element supports the theory that says life once existed on the surface of the planet. It depicts how the Curiosity Rover discovered boron inside calcium sulfate mineral veins present on the rocky surface. So, discovering boron on Mars strengthens the fact that life was possible on the planet previously and the red planet was once habitable. The instrument was devised at Los Alamos National Laboratory in conjunction with the French space agency. An important ingredient in RNA is a sugar called ribose.
According to the published paper in journal Geophysical Research Letters, this unexplained discovery may give the scientists more hints for whether the lives ever have been existed on the Red Planet. “Essentially, this tells us that the conditions from which life could have potentially grown may have existed on ancient Mars, independent from Earth”.
The finding of boron on Martian surface is one of the several recent discoveries related to the composition of Martian rocks.
The Mars 2020 rover will carry an instrument known as the “SuperCam”, developed by scientists at Los Alamos, as well as a tool called SHERLOC, which was designed and built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with significant participation by Los Alamos. The Curiosity Rover landed on Mars’ Gale Crater in 2012 to assess whether the area offered a habitable environment, which has since been confirmed.
The Curiosity rover is presently exploring a layered Martian mountain to unearth the chemical evidence about how the transformation of ancient lakes and wet underground environments took place billions of years ago in such a way that it impacted their ability to support microbial life.