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Curiosity Finds No Methane in Atmosphere of Mars

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#1 Crisp

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 00:55

Curiosity Finds No Methane in Atmosphere of Mars

 

NASA scientists reported Thursday that the Mars rover Curiosity has not found any clear signs of methane, a gas that on our planet is a strong indicator of life.

 

image_1396-Curiosity.jpg

This is an artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars. The Curiosity rover is safely tucked inside the spacecraft’s aeroshell. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

 

Methane is the most abundant hydrocarbon in the Solar System. Previous reports of localized methane concentrations up to 45 parts per billion on Mars, which sparked interest in the possibility of a biological source on Mars, were based on observations from Earth and from orbit around Mars.

Using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on Curiosity, the researchers performed six tests to search for traces of methane in Martian air from October 2012 through June 2013 and detected none.

Given the sensitivity of the instrument and not detecting the gas, they calculate the amount of methane in the Martian atmosphere today must be no more than 1.3 parts per billion. That is about one-sixth as much as some earlier estimates.

“It would have been exciting to find methane, but we have high confidence in our measurements, and the progress in expanding knowledge is what’s really important. We measured repeatedly from Martian spring to late summer, but with no detection of methane,” said Dr Chris Webster of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, who is a lead author of the study published in the journal Science.

 

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#2 NightScreams

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:22

Even if they found hard evidence of extraterrestrial life, on mars or anywhere else, they wouldn't tell us anyway so might as well raise the doubts about mars ever having any.



#3 Growled

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:30

 

....a gas that on our planet is a strong indicator of life.

 

On our planet. How do we know every planet is the same way?



#4 OP Crisp

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:32

On our planet. How do we know every planet is the same way?

 

Everything that lives, likes to fart. :D



#5 DocM

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:32

But sometimes the farts are not methane.

#6 Hum

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 16:36

How curious ...



#7 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 17:08

Even if they found hard evidence of extraterrestrial life, on mars or anywhere else, they wouldn't tell us anyway so might as well raise the doubts about mars ever having any.

Why would they hide that from us?  It's not like mass riots would break out or something.

Unless you're referring to the religious nuts who may get a bit restless.



#8 TPreston

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 17:44

Even if they found hard evidence of extraterrestrial life, on mars or anywhere else, they wouldn't tell us anyway so might as well raise the doubts about mars ever having any.


http://www.earth.nor...search.life.pdf

Your claim = destroyed;

#9 Growled

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 17:56

Why would they hide that from us?  It's not like mass riots would break out or something.

Unless you're referring to the religious nuts who may get a bit restless.

 

I was thinking more in the lines that Mars has had some sort of planetary disaster in the past and whatever evidence they were (if there was any) just got lost.



#10 Hum

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 21:40

^ You are correct.  An asteroid grazed the Mars atmosphere long ago, setting up a ripple effect, that ripped away part of atmosphere.

 

The gravity of Mars is too low to have recovered from the pass.

 

The survivors moved underground, and some were transported to Earth.

 

And no, NASA or the 'government' is not going to tell us anytime soon.



#11 Growled

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:33

^ You are correct.  An asteroid grazed the Mars atmosphere long ago, setting up a ripple effect, that ripped away part of atmosphere.

 

The gravity of Mars is too low to have recovered from the pass.

 

Even though the idea has fallen out of favor, I believe there was a planet where the asteroid belt is now, and when something happened to it, it affected Mars and probably earth as well.