Tag Archives: methane

Closer to solving the methane mystery

Planetary scientists are getting closer to solving the puzzle of methane on Mars. New calculations could help to explain why NASA’s Curiosity rover detects peaks of methane gas in the Martian atmosphere during the planet’s northern summer. As winter gives … Continue reading

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Curiosity finds ancient organic material and seasonally varying methane on Mars

[Editor’s note: press briefing video here.] NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the … Continue reading

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ExoMars poised to start science mission

The ExoMars orbiter will soon begin its search for gases that may be linked to active geological or biological activity on the Red Planet. The Trace Gas Orbiter has reached its final orbit after a year of ‘aerobraking’ that ended … Continue reading

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James Webb Space Telescope will investigate how Mars went from wet to dry

The planet Mars has fascinated scientists for over a century. Today, it is a frigid desert world with a carbon dioxide atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth’s. But evidence suggests that in the early history of our solar system, Mars … Continue reading

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Can methanogens survive on Mars?

Researchers at the University of Arkansas recently took a step toward answering a question for the ages: Is there life on Mars? Answer: they can’t rule it out. Two recent publications suggest that life, in the form of ancient, simple … Continue reading

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Did bursts of methane warm early Mars?

The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox. There’s plenty of geographical evidence that rivers periodically flowed across the planet’s surface. Yet in the time period when these waters are supposed to have run — three to four … Continue reading

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Curiosity ends second Mars year at Gale Crater

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover today completes its second Martian year since landing inside Gale Crater nearly four Earth years ago, which means it has recorded environmental patterns through two full cycles of Martian seasons. The repetition helps distinguish seasonal effects … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: ‘Drilling at Greenhorn’

Sol 1136-1138, October 16, 2015, update from USGS scientist Lauren Edgar: Unfortunately the Sol 1135 bundles were not uplinked due to a DSN issue, so the activities that we planned yesterday never made it onboard.  However, that meant that Curiosity … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: ‘Sniffing the Martian air’

Sol 1135, October 15, 2015, update from USGS scientist Lauren Edgar: The Sol 1134 mini-start hole on “Pilgrim” went well, as seen in the MAHLI image [at right].  Side note: if that doesn’t look like a hole to you, try rotating … Continue reading

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Evidence of methane found in Mars meteorites

An international team of researchers has discovered traces of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet. The researchers examined samples from six meteorites of volcanic rock that originated on Mars. The … Continue reading

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