Mars is currently dry and cold and doesn’t have much of an atmosphere, but what was it like in the past? Did Mars ever have a climate or environment that could support life? Luckily, we have rovers on Mars that can help us investigate!
We used the Curiosity Rover on Mars to sample the planet’s surface where there might have been a lake long ago. We looked at the carbon in our sample to see how much there was and where it came from. This could give us clues about what the environment was like and if there used to be organisms living in the area. Our data suggest that there is more carbon on Mars than we had expected. Most of the carbon came from meteorites and volcanic rock. We can’t rule out that it came from living things, but we need a lot more information to help us figure it out.