“The methane being generated on Mars is indigenous to Mars”

It’s still not proof of life on Mars but, as the BBC reports, “Scientists at Imperial College London say they have now ruled out the possibility that the methane is being constantly deposited by meteorites landing on the planet.” Or, as the Irish Times notes, “The methane being generated on Mars is indigenous to Mars,” [Kevin Nolan, physics lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tallaght] said yesterday. “It is a big deal.” And we also know there’s water [ice] there too. Here’s an informative NasaTV video on the Martian methane.

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  • Dewi

    It’s possible, of course, that Methane is generated non-aerobically. The presence of water could facilate the following:

    18Mg2SiO4 + 6Fe2SiO4 + 26H2O + CO2 → 12Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + 4Fe3O4 + CH4

    Would need a bit of heat below surface crust.

  • igor

    Even so its a potential building block

  • Wilde Rover

    If these Martian creatures are as flatulent as they seem then future dinner parties will be terribly awkward. I propose that we send Pete Baker to deal with these smelly beasts with the understanding that he be allowed to name some nondescript hill there New Londonderry.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Wilde Rover: “If these Martian creatures are as flatulent as they seem then future dinner parties will be terribly awkward. I propose that we send Pete Baker to deal with these smelly beasts with the understanding that he be allowed to name some nondescript hill there New Londonderry. ”

    Surely couldn’t take them ’round to the pub — between the methane and the differences in preferred climate, the poor blighters might explode… and an explosion in a pub might excite all sorts of passions…

  • Greenflag

    dewi,

    I think Dr Mumma mentions that possibility about 1.16 in on the video.

    Sounds like he’s drumming up for more ‘explorative’ missions in search of the ‘unholy grail’ i.e life elsewhere than on earth 😉

  • joeCanuck

    Not entirely unrelated, Pete, but January’s Discover magazine suggests, slightly tongue in cheek, that Pluto and the other dwarf planets should really be called obese comets.