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Evidence That the Reactivity of the Martian Soil Is Due to Superoxide Ions

Yen, A. S. and Kim, S. S. and Hecht, M. H. and Frant, M. S. and Murray, B. (2000) Evidence That the Reactivity of the Martian Soil Is Due to Superoxide Ions. Science, 289 (5486). pp. 1909-1912. ISSN 0036-8075. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140415-085909528

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Abstract

The Viking Landers were unable to detect evidence of life on Mars but, instead, found a chemically reactive soil capable of decomposing organic molecules. This reactivity was attributed to the presence of one or more as-yet-unidentified inorganic superoxides or peroxides in the martian soil. Using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, we show that superoxide radical ions (O_(2)–) form directly on Mars-analog mineral surfaces exposed to ultraviolet radiation under a simulated martian atmosphere. These oxygen radicals can explain the reactive nature of the soil and the apparent absence of organic material at the martian surface.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.289.5486.1909 DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/289/5486/1909PublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 2000 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 5 May 2000; accepted 2 August 2000. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140415-085909528
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140415-085909528
Official Citation:Yen, A. S., Kim, S. S., Hecht, M. H., Frant, M. S., & Murray, B. (2000). Evidence That the Reactivity of the Martian Soil Is Due to Superoxide Ions. Science, 289(5486), 1909-1912. doi: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1909
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44948
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:15 Apr 2014 21:09
Last Modified:15 Apr 2014 21:09

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