leaving little to be seen by carbon-seeking landers and rovers

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
The logic of the expression "perchlorates would destroy any organic material on the surface, leaving little to be seen by carbon-seeking landers and rovers" appears to be quite loose. Yes, carbon is one of the vital ingredients for any organic material; yet carbon itself is an inorganic material. So unless you tell us that perchlorate salts and high-energy ultraviolet light and cosmic rays destroyed carbon your logic would have been far from vigorious. Organic materials get destroyed, okay, but carbon itself would remain on the surface,e.g., we burn woods and destroy the organic property of the woods and we get charcoal or the very carbon - Now, you tell us carbon is missing - charcoal is vanished into thin air. Sir, it is not possible unless a mysterious gale that has the power to wipe out anything conjured by your magic wand has done the job.

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Ever since, scientists have ardently hunted for Mars’s missing carbon—or at least an explanation for its absence. A crucial clue came in 2008, when NASA’s Phoenix lander found perchlorate salts—highly reactive molecules containing chlorine—in soil samples near the Martian north pole. Combined with high-energy ultraviolet light and cosmic rays streaming in from space, perchlorates would destroy any organic material on the surface, leaving little to be seen by carbon-seeking landers and rovers.

-Scientific American

Source

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PS

I've noticed before posting the thread that the products containing carbon of the chemical reactions led by perchlorates may be very easier to seep into subsurface of the Mars, thus having fooled the carbon-seeking landers and rovers. But this process should have been written down, lest leaving a gap there and misleading the reader. Because it is popular science, not an academic paper.
 
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