Researchers have detected methane on Mars, and almost all methane on Earth can be traced back to a biological source of life.
Back in 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover landed on the Red Planet, and since then, it has detected six methane blips in its landing in the Gale Crater. During that time, researchers have been unable to pinpoint the location or the source of the detected methane, but now a new study suggests the location has been found. These findings are extremely exciting for researchers as almost all of the methane in Earth's atmosphere can be traced back to a biological source.
At the moment, researchers haven't located the source of the methane, but even if the source isn't biological life forms, it will still be promising, as it could be signs of geological activity that may lead to the discovery of water on the Red Planet. Something to note is that the detectable lifespan of methane is only 330 years, meaning that whatever is producing the methane that Curiosity is detecting may very well still be producing it today.
"An active emission region to the west and the southwest of the Curiosity rover on the northwestern crater floor. This may invoke a coincidence that we selected a landing site for Curiosity that is located next to an active methane emission site," the researchers wrote in their paper published on the preprint server Research Square.
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