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Curiosity finds no methane on Mars

Posted on Saturday, 3 November, 2012 | Comment icon 28 comments | News tip by: Atlantia

Image credit: NASA

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been unable to find any signs of methane on the Red Planet.

The presence of methane on Mars would have been a promising indicator that there was life there as on Earth over 90% of the methane in the atmosphere is produced by living organisms. Following measurements taken with Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument there has so far been no indication of the gas.

"The bottom line is that we have no detection of methane so far," said JPL's Chris Webster. "But we're going to keep looking in the months ahead since Mars, as we all know, may yet hold surprises for us."

"NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has detected no methane in its first analyses of the Martian atmosphere - news that will doubtless disappoint those who hope to find life on the Red Planet."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by bison on 5 November, 2012, 15:17
We might *not* recognize Martian life. The Viking probes of Mars, in the 1970's, seemed to detect life. The head of the life detecting experiments for those two missions *still* believes that life was detected then. The objections to this conclusion, which finally ruled out life, as far as most scientists were concerned, were as follows: 1.) No organic material, which in our experience is inevitably produced by living things, was found. 2.) When samples were exposed to additional water, they either failed to respond again or did so only very weakly. This was not the expected response of ... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by DONTEATUS on 5 November, 2012, 23:39
THeres going to be a lot of drugies very sad to know that Mars has no Meth !
Comment icon #21 Posted by HMS Dreadnought on 6 November, 2012, 15:39
Coming Soon: Breaking Bad - MARS
Comment icon #22 Posted by Nuke_em on 6 November, 2012, 16:04
Comment icon #23 Posted by bison on 7 November, 2012, 1:06
Given the fact that such a wide range of organisms on Earth, from simple to complex, release methane by the workings of their metabolisms, it isn't such an unreasonable possibility that this might hold true for living things that might exist on Mars. Until we learn of some alternate form of biology, searching for methane, and the lighter isotopes of the elements that it contains, the ones associated with life, is among the best strategies.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Nuke_em on 7 November, 2012, 16:40
Yeah but you know only that.. We're all limited to only that, that organisms on earth contain methane particles, they adapted, evolved to our athmosphere and air composition... Not every planet out there has the same properties than ours... We only know what we CAN know, we are very limited since we haven't found any other lifeform to compare their biological structure to ours.
Comment icon #25 Posted by R4z3rsPar4d0x on 7 November, 2012, 23:38
I agree with this statement
Comment icon #26 Posted by psyche101 on 8 November, 2012, 4:39
Methanogens produce methane, the ones that live in the gut, but Methanotroph's metabolise methane as their only source of energy.
Comment icon #27 Posted by psyche101 on 8 November, 2012, 4:42
Curiosity killed the cat. What the hell the cat was doing on mars in the first place I have no idea. Thanks to Boon for my new Avatar. The first time I have ever changed it.

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