Jan 5 2011, 09:18 AM
It appears Viking found organics
after all! My head is spinning.
Jan 5 2011, 03:14 PM
Here is a link to the abstract: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010JE003599.shtml
And here is a link to a detailed abstract for Europlanet 2009 (some of the same authors) that shows thermolysis results of soils from the Atacama desert:http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPS.../EPSC2009-2.pdf
The authors did their theoretical calculations based on methane release and subsequent oxidation.
The "smoking gun"* is the detection of cholorohydrocarbons.
(*Bonus ironic trivia: Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was widely used as a fire extinguisher)
Feb 1 2013, 07:13 AM
Mod: Rule 3.5: Avoid excessive quoting. If your reply will immediately follow the post you're replying to, do not quote it at all. If your reply refers to a post farther up in the thread, quote only that text that is relevant to your reply. Avoid quoting images.
This whole business was discussed in three subsequent publications:
Reanalysis of the Viking results suggests perchlorate and organics at midlatitudes on Mars
Comment on “Reanalysis of the Viking results suggests perchlorate and organics at midlatitudes on Mars” by Rafael Navarro-González et al
Reply to comment by Biemann and Bada on “Reanalysis of the Viking results suggests perchlorate and organics at midlatitudes on Mars”
In the end the SAM data made it clear that the chloromethanes can be produced by pyrolysis of organic material and perchlorates on Mars.
The origin of the organic molecules (Martian or terrestrial contamination) can not be determined without other methods.
More is needed in the future and I hope for SAM doing that job.