Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mars Rover Device Gets New Mission On Earth

Date:
February 5, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Developed to sniff out extraterrestrial life on other planets, a portable device known as the Mars Organic Analyzer (MOA) is taking on a new role in detecting air pollutants on Earth. Researchers now report the development of a modified MOA able to detect polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), potentially carcinogenic molecules from cigarette smoke and wood smoke, volcanic ash, and other sources.

Located at an isolated crossroads in Chile's Atacama Desert, the Yunguy field station is an ideal spot to test instruments destined for Mars.
Credit: Photo by Alison Skelley/UC Berkeley

Developed to sniff out extraterrestrial life on other planets, a portable device known as the Mars Organic Analyzer (MOA) is taking on a new role in detecting air pollutants on Earth.

Related Articles


Researchers in California report the development of a modified MOA able to detect polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), potentially carcinogenic molecules from cigarette smoke and wood smoke, volcanic ash, and other sources. 

In the report, Richard A. Mathies and colleagues indicate that current earthbound PAH detection focuses on the cleanup of environmental contamination sites. On other planets, the concentration of organic PAH molecules can provide valuable insight into environmental conditions and the potential for extraterrestrial life. But existing PAH detection methods are slow and costly. Scientists thus are seeking an inexpensive, rapid and nondestructive technique for the measurement of PAH contamination.

The researchers tested samples from Lake Erie and a hydrothermal vent from the Gulf of California, as well as a Martian analogue sample from the Mars-like Atacama Desert, one of the driest spots on earth. They found that the detection sensitivity of the device was on par with current laboratory methods.

“The method of PAH analysis developed here significantly advances the MOA’s capabilities for organic carbon detection and may also prove useful for environmental monitoring,” says Mathies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stockton et al. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Analysis with the Mars Organic Analyzer Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis System. Analytical Chemistry, 2009; 81 (2): 790 DOI: 10.1021/ac802033u

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Mars Rover Device Gets New Mission On Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204171040.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, February 5). Mars Rover Device Gets New Mission On Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204171040.htm
American Chemical Society. "Mars Rover Device Gets New Mission On Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204171040.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins