Mars burps methane: chance to find life


Curiosity’s instruments have encountered high levels of methane. Now scientists believe it may come from belching microscopic life – and NASA’s rover is close to the source.

After nine years on the red planet, NASA’s Mars robot Curiosity is now on its so-called summer journey. 1.6 kilometers would be felled to reach places with potential for microscopic life there. But now the research world believes that it is instead possible to actually find life on Mars.

To measure the levels of methane in the environment, the rover is equipped with a “Tunable Laser Spectrometer” (TLS). Previously, the instrument has picked up general levels of 0.41 ppm, but the exception is on six occasions when the content has inexplicably increased to 10 ppm, reports New Scientist.

Near one of the springs

The answer may be microscopic life raping methane, and now researchers at Caltech believe they have triangulated what they believe are the exact sites that have given rise to the methane peaks since 2012, reports Space. And it turns out that Curiosity is very close to one of the sources – it’s only a few miles.

Most of our methane soil is derived from biological processes, and it takes 330 years before the sun’s solar radiation takes hold of the methane gas. However, the source may be underground, but even if the source is not biological activity, it could point to geological activity that can lead to water.


Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.

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