Nasa's Mars rover detects methane spike, hinting at life

Nasa's Mars rover detects methane spike, hinting at life”

Since recording an increase of methane in Mars' Gale Crater-the 96-mile-wide cavity where the rover landed-in 2013, Curiosity has discovered evidence of seasonal changes in methane.

However, the discovery of more methane does not necessarily confirm NASA has stumbled upon the signs of alien life.

Nonetheless, the latest data will heighten interest in the topic.

Though Mars has no active volcanoes like on Earth, it is possible that methane is being released from geological processes, involving reactions of carbon from carbonate rocks or carbon dioxide, with hydrogen from liquid water.

In December 2018, Curiosity detected a "shiny" object that may be a meteorite, but NASA researchers were not sure at the time.

The finding came from the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer.

He added: "Now that both Curiosity and TGO are active on Mars, we have the chance to compare measurements made at the same time, which will allow direct comparison".

This probe, known as the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), started observing the the planet's atmosphere in April 2017.

Whether the source of the methane is biological or not, figuring out where it comes from will teach us something new about Mars. Hence, tracking down the source of methane on Mars could be a way to find out if there are microbes living in the extreme conditions of the Red Planet.

More news: Turkey's opposition headed for big Istanbul win, in blow to Erdogan

Quite why it can not see what Curiosity sees is therefore a major puzzle.

However, the American space agency's Curiosity Rover is not equipped with instruments to determine the exact source of the methane.

But if this process exists, scientists are at a loss now to explain it.

The results of this weekend's experiments are expected to be sent back to Earth on Monday.

However, based on last week's discovery, the amount of methane gas in Mars' atmosphere could have been produced by living microbes. So the quantities at Mars, whatever their source, are still very small.

Dr Mahaffy's statement about historic methane is an important one, too.

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 a year ago.

Of course, there might be other possibilities, like this volume of methane being trapped underground for years and only surfacing now.

Like this



24 June 2019
U.S. soccer starting lineup vs. Spain
The match may have been a confidence boost for No. 13 Spain , because it was able to hang with the world's top-ranked team. Ellis was born in England and spent most of her childhood there before moving to the US when her family relocated in 1981.

24 June 2019
New Windows Terminal Is Now Available To Download For Windows 10
MICROSOFT HAS RELEASED its latest replacement for the old command line app (CMD), and it's called Windows Terminal . The company had mentioned a release in the summer and now it has arrived in the Microsoft Store .

24 June 2019
Meghan Markle's engagement ring has completely changed
He said: "It was interesting about the lip readers with Harry telling Meghan to turn around on the balcony". Royal commentators said the move was the final act in the division of the couples' public duties.

24 June 2019
Del Potro raises doubts over career after latest injury
" As you might know I fractured my right patella once again ", Juan Martin Del Potro said. A statement from del Potro's team said a "bone fragment" was removed during the surgery.

24 June 2019
Raspberry Pi 4 Launches With More Power and Options Than Ever Before
In the connectivity department, the Pi 4 comes with Bluetooth 5.0 support instead of the older 4.2 version on its predecessor. Physically, you wouldn't notice any difference as the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B looks similar to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +.

24 June 2019
Joshua decides Andy Ruiz rematch next week
Anthony Joshua has been branded by Andy Ruiz Jr as a bad boxer and promised to record another victory when they meet again. Even if the rest of the heavyweight division isn't giving him the respect he deserves .

24 June 2019
Donegal Rally Suspended After Competitor Dies In Collision
The Donegal Motor Club released a statement earlier today to outline that "the matter is now being dealt with". Organisers said there was an incident at 12.30 BST and said a statement would be released later.

24 June 2019
Raspberry Pi 4 Launches for $35
The Raspberry Pi 4 1GB model will cost you $35, the 2GB model will cost you $45, and the 4GB model will cost you $55. The Raspberry Pi 4 is available worldwide now, the not-for-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation has confirmed.

24 June 2019
Dog the Bounty Hunter's Wife Beth Chapman In A Medically-Induced Coma
Two months later, Dog revealed she was cancer-free during an episode of "Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives". Together, the pair also have 12 children and have spent more than 30 years in the bail bond industry.

24 June 2019
Rajasthan tent collapse kills 14 at religious event
The former chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia also expressed grief over death of several people in the incident. He scurried from the stage within seconds as the structure came down, leading to a stampede-like situation, they said.