NASA & # 39; s Curiosity rover detects a surprising amount of methane on Mars – a gas that is usually produced by living things
- NASA & # 39; s Curiosity rover measured large amounts of methane gas on Wednesday
- It found 21 parts per billion methane in the air, three times what was found during a 2013 measurement
- The findings have led scientists to plan a follow-up experiment this weekend
- On Earth, methane is usually produced by living creatures, meaning that the new methane may indicate signs of microbes on Mars
Large amounts of methane that have only been discovered in the air of Mars can be a sign of underground life on Mars.
NASA's Curiosity Rover is said to have discovered a surprising amount of methane gas, which is normally created by living creatures on Earth, in the air while taking measurements on Mars on Wednesday. New York Times reported.
The unexpected discovery led scientists to scrap previous robbery plans in favor of conducting & # 39; a follow-up experiment & # 39 ;, according to an email written by mission project scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada, who was obtained from the newspaper.
NASA & # 39; s Curiosity Rover (photo) is said to have returned a surprising measurement of methane gas in Martian air, causing scientists to speculate that the findings indicate that there are underground signs of life on Mars
The curiosity would have carried out a measurement that found 21 parts per billion methane in the air, three times what was found during a measurement from 2013.
The discovery of methane gas is exciting for scientists because it may indicate that microbes live on Mars – possibly the descendants of life that migrate underground when it was speculated that Mars was a warmer, wetter and more hospitable environment of four billion years. ago.
The research that is being carried out over the weekend is supposed to determine whether evidence could be found to indicate that microbes live underground.
Finding methane in the air of Mars would be an important discovery, as methane is easily broken down by sunlight and chemical reactions over the course of a few centuries, indicating that the new methane has probably been released recently.
However, the New York Times pointed out that it is possible that the methane is really old and after millions of years of confinement on Mars just leaks through cracks on the earth's surface.
The curiosity is said to have taken a measurement that found 21 parts per billion methane in the (depicted) air of Mars, three times what was found during a measurement in 2013. On Earth, methane is produced by living things
About 15 years ago, measurements from Mars Express from the European Space Agency and Earth-bound telescopes detected methane on Mars, but researchers seemed to believe that these findings were incorrect data because the results were on the edge of the detection power of the equipment .
However, scientists were fearless in their search for methane on Mars.
In 2012, after the Curiosity landed on Mars and searched for methane, it would have ended up empty-handed with findings of less than one part per billion in the planet's atmosphere.
But a year later, in 2013, the Curiosity reported back with methane findings of seven parts per billion, which lasted a few months before they were broken down.
The findings from 2013 were apparently confirmed by a re-examination of the Mars Express measurements from that time, which also indicated a peak in methane.
The results of this weekend's experiments are expected to be sent back to Earth on Monday.
NASA has not yet made any statements about the methane findings of the Curiosity.
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