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NASA confirmed a new study that had been realized in 2013. The study showed that there was Methane on Mars. The research had been realized by Curiosity Rover.
At first researchers rejected the results, but after a re-analysis of data collected from orbit had been confirmed.
New results published on April 1 in Nature Geoscience in which mentioned that NASA’s Curiosity rover detected a methane spike on June 15, 2013, while exploring Gale Crater on Mars. The phenomenon how methane came to exist on the Red Planet wasn’t explained by Marco Giuranna who is the lead of the team from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology in Rome, Italy.
But according to gizmodo.com “Independent confirmation is a potential sign that Mars once featured conditions suitable for life during its ancient past. More radically, it suggests microbial life once existed on Mars, producing the smelly gas that’s now escaping from the planet’s bowels”.
Methane is a potential of habitability, and possibly even a signature of life itself.
[The trouble with methane, however, is that it doesn’t last long in the atmosphere. Any methane that is detected would therefore have been released relatively recently. For Mars, this means the gas is likely venting up from beneath the surface. What’s more, the sporadic, intermittent nature of these apparent methane spikes suggests the methane is being released at irregular intervals].
“In general we did not detect any methane, aside from one definite detection of about 15 parts per billion by volume of methane in the atmosphere, which turned out to be a day after Curiosity reported a spike of about six parts per billion,” said Giuranna in a statement “Although parts per billion in general means a relatively small amount, it is quite remarkable for Mars—our measurement corresponds to an average of about 46 tonnes of methane that was present in the area of 49,000 square kilometres observed from our orbit.”
“We identified tectonic faults that might extend below a region proposed to contain shallow ice,” study co-author Giuseppe Etiope from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said in the ESA statement. “Remarkably, we saw that the atmospheric simulation and geological assessment, performed independently of each other, suggested the same region of provenance of the methane.”
Source: Text; gizmodo.com
Image credit: gizmodo.com
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