Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Methane on Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover has detected high levels of methane which is an organic compound. The discovery is interesting because it may indicated that life either may have existed on Mar or is still there.

However, indications show that this is a temporary phenomenon that may find an explanation in a natural process instead of life itself. The methane may be the result of serpentinisation which is a process where high temperatures cause minerals in rocks to blend with water creating methane.

However, there is also the possibility of methane originating from life such as bacteria.  Most of the methane found Earth originates from microbes who release it in flatulence. This is where human flatulence also originates from as flora and other bacteria in the human intestines aid in digesting food.  More research needs to be done in order to rule out natural processes.  To date, no evidence of microbes have been discovered, so this is why NASA cannot jump to conclusions in regards to declaring that life once existed or does exist on Mars.

In jest, perhaps Martians left behind latrines which got buried a long time ago, or maybe they are underground suffering from gas. :)












Source:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4413

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/12/16/curiosity-rover-detects-spikes-of-methane-at-mars/21117342/

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30456664


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