NASA confirms Curiosity rover’s ugly Mars methane discovery – CNET

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NASA confirms Curiosity rover’s ugly Mars methane discovery – CNET

NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET

Curiosity rover’s discovery is serene thrilling — it right would not abet us declare life on Mars.


Seán Doran/Laura Martínez/CNET

Curiosity, NASA‘s Mars rover, has had a busy weekend. After detecting the most effective most likely stages of methane yet considered on Mars last weekend, NASA impact a pause on the rover’s lots of science actions to use up on the invention. On Monday, information from Curiosity’s subsequent experiment filtered inspire to NASA and the spike in methane levels had disappeared, dropping to background levels.

“A plume got here and a plume went,” acknowledged Paul Mahaffy, most important investigator overseeing Curiosity’s Pattern Prognosis at Mars (SAM) instrument, in some unspecified time in the future of a NASA metropolis hall occasion at the Astrobiology Science Conference on Monday. “We’re very assured of the dimension.”

As a result of the information of Curiosity’s startling discovering broke over the weekend, many suggested the excessive methane may per likelihood per likelihood trace at the potential for life on Mars. Methane is a an appreciable molecule on Earth and heaps of residing organisms excrete it, alongside aspect microbes.

Mahaffy defined that Curiosity had detected an surprisingly excessive stage of methane last Wednesday in some unspecified time in the way forward for a routine experiment which exams the focus of molecules inside the setting. The information got here inspire on Thursday and confirmed a methane stage of 21 points per billion — round three circumstances elevated than had ever been thought-about sooner than. Thus, Curiosity’s weekend plans had been scrapped to trot the experiment but once more.

“The methane plume went away … or not it’s inspire down now to beneath 1 section per billion,” Mahaffy acknowledged, noting the dimension is consistent with what has beforehand been thought-about on Mars. NASA cautioned because the news broke over the weekend that the methane detection seems to be from a “transient plume” and Curiosity is not geared up with the true units to recount us whether or not the plume is organic or geological in origin.

What does that suggest for all times on Mars? Neatly, not tons. Although the latest discovering was once confirmed, we’re no nearer to discovering its provide right now — that shall be as much as a pair of the spacecraft orbiting the Crimson Planet and future Mars missions. Furthermore, the methane spike is completely an strange phenomenon nonetheless it undoubtedly has been thought-about by scientists sooner than.

“The methane thriller continues,” acknowledged Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s undertaking scientist at NASA, in a assertion. “We’re extra motivated than ever to retain measuring and impact our brains collectively to find out how methane behaves inside the Martian setting.”  

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NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET
NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET
NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET
NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET
NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET

NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET

NASA Confirms Curiosity Rover's Ugly Mars Methane Discovery - CNET