Methane on Mars

Abruptly switching from last post’s Lost Mars to real Mars: NASA’s rover Curiosity has detected wildly fluctuating levels of methane in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

The scientists responsible for this research speak of miniscule amounts, but they conclude: “observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 (95% CI) ppbv impl[y] that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source.” That gas is not chemically stable on Mars because the sun’s UV radiation breaks apart its molecules. So there must be an underlying continuous process at work. On Earth methane is produced by volcanism and by life — there are no active volcanoes on Mars so this phenomenon definitely warrants serious investigation.

Link 1 for more facts about the discovery >>>

Link 2 for more facts about the discovery >>>

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