Aqueous alteration processes in Jezero crater, Mars−implications for organic geochemistry

1Eva L. Scheller et al., (>10)
Science 378, 6624 Link to Article [DOI: 10.1126/science.abo52]
1Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Reprinted with permission from AAAS

The Perseverance rover landed in Jezero crater, Mars in February 2021. We used the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument to perform deep ultraviolet Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy of three rocks within the crater. We identify evidence for two distinct ancient aqueous environments at different times. Reactions with liquid water formed carbonates in an olivine-rich igneous rock. A sulfate-perchlorate mixture is present in the rocks, probably formed by later modifications of the rocks by brine. Fluorescence signatures consistent with aromatic organic compounds occur throughout these rocks, preserved in minerals related to both aqueous environments.

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