The Big Think

September 27, 2010

Gassy Red Planet

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 9:03 pm

Something is adding methane to Mars’s atmosphere:

Scientists and the public get excited about extraterrestrial methane because it’s usually produced one or two ways — through volcanic eruptions and biological processes. It is prevalent in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus, and more recently, scientists figured out it also exists (with some interesting variation) on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Chemical processes could also produce methane, such as carbon dioxide combining with melted water beneath the surface.

Though detection of methane is not a smoking gun for life, changes in the presence of methane are intriguing. Methane breaks down in ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which means something on Mars is replenishing it.

Wow, pretty cool. I wonder what’s going on?

Walk Like and Egyptian, Y’all

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 7:51 pm

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