[FPSPACE] New Findings Say Mars Methane Comes from Life or Water — or Both
ljk4 at msn.com
Sat Dec 12 21:10:39 EST 2009
December 8, 2009
New Findings Say Mars Methane Comes from Life or Water — or Both
Written by Nancy Atkinson
A new paper that will be published Wednesday rules out the possibility that methane is delivered to Mars by meteorites, boosting the idea that the short-lived gas perhaps could be generated by either life or water, or maybe even both.
Microorganisms living in the Martian soil could be producing methane gas as a by-product of their metabolic processes, or methane might be created as a result of reactions between volcanic rock and water. Either way, the prospect is exciting.
Methane on Mars was first detected in 1999, again in 2001 and 2003, which was widely reported, but not much was known about the origin or amount of the gas on Mars.
In January 2009, scientists analyzing data from telescopic observations and unmanned space missions announced that the methane on Mars is being constantly replenished by an unknown source and they are keen to uncover how the levels of methane are being topped up.
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