Science

Methane gas found on Mars hints at possibility of life

Methane gas found on Mars hints at possibility of life”

Mars may finally be showing signs that life exists in the Red Planet.

However, the agency notes Curiosity does not contain instruments which can definitively say where the methane may have come from. Project scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada told the Curiosity science team in an email that "Given this surprising result, we've reorganized the weekend to run a follow-up experiment", the Times wrote.

But the Trace Gas Orbiter, a newer European spacecraft launched in 2016 with more sensitive instruments, did not detect any methane at all in its first batch of scientific observations past year. Results from the additional experiment may reach us by as early as Monday, according to the Times.

People have always been fascinated by the possibility of aliens on Mars.

However NASA's pioneering Viking landers in the 1970s revealed a desolate landscape on the Red Planet. Now, they are entertaining the notion that if life ever did arise on Mars, its microbial descendants could have migrated underground and persisted. Scientists know the gas was emitted fairly recently-after all, chemical reactions and sunlight break down its molecules over a few hundred years-but they don't know if living microbes released the methane or if it had been trapped underground for millions of years. When methane was similarly detected on the surface of Mars in 2004, scientists said that the methane could also be generated by geothermal reactions involving water and heat, though the exact mechanism by which that could occur on Mars remained an open question. However, those findings were at the edge of the detection power of these tools, and many researchers thought the methane might just be a mirage of mistaken data.

More news: Biden Campaign Officials Leak To WaPo Amid Firestorm Of Criticism

In practical terms, NASA explains it as one billionth part of a volume of Martian air sample will be methane. Then, in 2013, the rover detected a sudden rise in methane, with seven parts methane per billion, which endured for several months and then vanished. Its laser spectrometer instrument registered a methane spike of 21 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) in the Gale Crater, a region the rover has been exploring since it landed in 2012.

Even before this week's discovery, the mystery of methane has been deepening.

The 2013 findings have seemingly been confirmed by a reexamination of Mars Express readings from the time, which also indicated a spike in methane.

"While increased methane levels measured by Mars Curiosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it's important to remember this is an early science result", Nasa's Thomas Zurbuchen said on Twitter.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


24 June 2019
1 killed, several injured in Houthi's drone attack on Saudi airport
Saudi state TV confirmed that flights had since resumed at the airport, with operations now running normally. Moreover, A Syrian resident of Saudi Arabia reportedly succumbed to his wounds following the drone attack.

24 June 2019
Acting ICE Director on Raids: 'We Have No Choice'
Pelosi called Trump on Friday night, according to a person familiar with the situation and not authorized to discuss it publicly. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was focused on getting the transnational street gang MS-13 out of the United States.

24 June 2019
Reavie wins Travelers Championship for second PGA TOUR title
Chez Reavie ended an 11-year wait for a second PGA Tour win, securing the Travelers Championship title by four strokes on Sunday. I caught myself yawning out on the golf course. "That's how golf is, " Watson said.

24 June 2019
Pakistan's morale has not dipped ahead of South Africa clash: Sarfaraz
We are one, we are united, we are all Pakistanis, we all care about each other", Mohammad Hafeez was quoted as saying by GEO.tv. The third match was held on 5 June 2019 against Team India, where India won by 6 wickets.

24 June 2019
Kabir Singh Box Office Day 3 Morning Occupancy: Ecstatic Sunday Is On!
Kabir Singh has collected Rs 42.92 crore net in the domestic box office in two days and its gross total stands at Rs 51.24 crore. In fact, if trade pundits are to be believed, then the film might amass close to Rs. 70 crores on its opening weekend.

24 June 2019
Wayland's Phil Regan, 82, headed back to the Major Leagues
NY entered the season with a promising pitching staff, but the team's rotation has failed to live up to expectations. The New York Mets are making some changes on the coaching staff after falling to fourth place in the NL East.

24 June 2019
ASEAN Leaders Expected To Discuss Rohingya Crisis, South China Sea
ASEAN is often criticised as a soft forum where diplomatic niceties often outweigh concrete action on pressing problems. The chairman's statement, released later on Sunday, called for a de-escalation of tension in the South China Sea.

24 June 2019
Simon grinds down Medvedev to reach Queen’s final
But two trophies and a place in the hearts of the British public was enough for one day. Murray has already said that he will make a return to Wimbledon this Summer.

23 June 2019
Danny Boyle backs Robert Pattinson as the next James Bond
He stated, "I learned my lesson that I am not cut out [for franchisees] otherwise you're digging in the same hole. Rami Malek says despite shooting delays on Bond 25 , the makers of the film have found a way around the project.

23 June 2019
Aasia Bibi’s release ‘good news’ of the year, says Pompeo
Despite public protests against her, Bibi was acquitted on appeal previous year and in May was able to leave for Canada. He said that global religious freedom is a top priority for the Trump administration.