American space agency NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected methane gas on Mars. This could be a sign of life on the planet.
NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars (NASA)
Scientists have found evidence of life on Mars. A group of scientists has discovered the exact location of a place on Mars where this mysterious methane gas is coming out. This gas is often produced by microorganisms. The thing to note here is that the Curiosity rover of the American space agency NASA is present just near it. Since the rover’s landing in the Gale crater of Mars in 2012, its detection system has detected methane gas six times.
However, scientists have not been able to trace its source yet. But now with a new analysis, scientists have found the source of methane gas. To find the unknown methane source, researchers at the California Institute of Technology split methane gas particles into discrete packets. To find the direction of methane gas, the speed and direction of the wind present on the planet at that time were taken care of. In this way the team periodically detected methane at their potential points of emission. In this way he found the areas where the sources of methane were the most. One of them was only a few miles away from the rover.
Signs of life can be found from methane on Mars
The researchers wrote in their research paper, the results indicate that there is an active emission zone to the southwest of the Curiosity rover on the west and northwest crater floors. It may be a coincidence that we selected a landing site for Curiosity that is located next to an active methane emission site. The possibility of the presence of methane is thrilling for scientists. According to researchers, almost all the methane present in the Earth’s atmosphere is produced from biological origin. In such a situation, there may be evidence that life exists on Mars as well.
Methane source may be covered with dust
Even though the methane is being produced through non-biological processes, it also points to geological activity associated with the presence of liquid water. Liquid water may have been an important component for the development of life before or at present. John Moore, Professor of Planetary Scientist at York University in Toronto, says that it is possible that methane is leaking from somewhere under the surface of Mars. It may be covered with dust and it is almost impossible to find it. However, we do not yet know whether methane is being produced by small organisms only. Methane has a lifespan of 330 years. After this it is completely destroyed by sunlight.
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