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Methane Is Found on Mars, Raising Hope of Life There Now

Methane Is Found on Mars Raising Hope of Life There Now NYTimes com


Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all.

A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, dashing the best hope that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday.

Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months.

For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.

“It is one of the few hypotheses that we can propose that we must consider as we go forward,” said John P. Grotzinger, the mission’s project scientist.

The scientists also reported that for the first time, they confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them.

“This is really a great moment for the mission,” Dr. Grotzinger told a news conference here at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

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I don't mean to downplay the greatness of this moment -- it could indicate life on Mars!

However it's hard to think of methane without thinking of the earth's flatulent cows.

Which makes me chuckle when I think of Martian cows.

LOL - my mind went to men.

There's a fine line between men and cows.

Now that you mention it, methane might be a sign of life but it says nothing about intelligence. :)

How about Martian Cowboys for methane x2?

I wonder if they're anything like Dallas Cowboys. 

Is someone disappoint?

Yes, how dull if it's nothing but microbes.

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