2021年03月09日

Perseverance 360: Unusual Rocks and the Search for Life on Mars
Image Credit:
NASA, JPL-Caltech, ASU, MSSS

Explanation: Is that a fossil? Looking through recent images of Mars taken by the new Perseverance rover may seem a bit like treasure hunting, with the possibility of fame coming to the first person to correctly identify a petrified bone, a rock imprinted by an ancient plant, or any clear indication that life once existed on Mars. Unfortunately, even though it is possible that something as spectacular as a skeleton could be identified, most exobiologists think it much more likely that biochemical remnants of ancient single-celled microbes could be found with Perseverance’s chemical analyzers. A key reason is that multicellular organisms may take a greater amount of oxygen to evolve than has ever been present on Mars. That said, nobody’s sure, so please feel free to digitally magnify any Perseverance image that interests you — including the featured 360-degree zoomable image of the rocks and ridges surrounding Perseverance’s landing location in Jezero Crater. And even though NASA-affiliated scientists are themselves studying Perseverance’s images, if you see anything really unusual, please post it to popular social media. If your sighting turns out to be particularly intriguing, scientifically, it is likely that NASA will hear about it.

Tomorrow’s picture: california spaced up


毅力号360度全景:不寻常的石块和寻找火星生命
影像提供:
NASA, JPL-Caltech, ASU, MSSS

说明: 那是化石吗?检视毅力号火星车最近拍摄的星影像,有点像在寻宝,如果真的找到石化骨、存有古植物印痕的石块、或任何火星曾有生命的明确迹证,可能会为第一位发现者带来无比的声名。很遗憾的,或许你真的可找到看来像骨骸的物体,但多数的地外生物学家认为,最可行的途径其实是使用毅力号的化学分析仪,寻找古单细胞微生物留下来的生化残留。作这种推论的关键理由:要演化出多细胞生物体所需要的量,超出火星过去曾有过的。话虽如此,但没人能打包票,所以请随兴数位放大任何你认为有趣的影像,包括这幅摄于耶杰罗坑毅力号着陆点的可缩放360度主题影像里的石块和脊。虽然美国航太总署的科学家正在探研这些毅力号影像,不过如果你真的找到任何不寻常之处,请把你的发现传到这个公众讨论版。只要你的发现在科学上够有趣,美国航太总署的人员很可能就会得到讯息。

明日的图片: california spaced up

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