NASA scientists gasp as Mars rover finds puzzling Oxygen discovery

NASA scientists are confused at seasonal variations in Mars' oxygen levels.

Jak Connor
Published Mon, Dec 30 2019 4:28 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Jun 16 2020 4:29 PM CDT

NASA's Curiosity rover is hard on work uncovering mysteries and creating new ones on the distant red planet, and now it's at the center of another one.

NASA scientists gasp as Mars rover finds puzzling Oxygen discovery |

Curiosity has given planetary scientists another brain teaser to wrap their heads around as the SUV-sized laboratory has found "significant seasonal and year-to-year variability" in Mar's oxygen levels. The SAM instrument aboard Curiosity measures what molecules makeup Mars' atmosphere. Scientists know that as the planet goes through its seasonal changes - CO2 freezes in winter, reducing air pressure. During summer and spring, things thaw out, and the CO2 raises air pressure.

Oxygen, on the other hand, accounts for only 0.16% of the Mars atmosphere but didn't follow the expected rises and falls. Melissa Trainer, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and first author on the new study, said "The fact that the oxygen behavior isn't perfectly repeatable every season makes us think that it's not an issue that has to do with atmospheric dynamics. It has to be some chemical source and sink that we can't yet account for."

Buy at Amazon

The Martian

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 8/4/2020 at 7:19 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles