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Methane on Mars?

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posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:03 PM
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The Viking landers have scooped up some soil and mixed it with carbon-14-labelled nutrients. If instruments on board the landers detect emissions of carbon-14-containing methane from the soil, then there must be life on Mars...

Viking has reported a positive result. Something is ingesting the nutrients, metabolising them, and then belching out gas laced with carbon-14.



So why no party?

Because another instrument, designed to identify organic molecules considered essential signs of life, found nothing. Almost all the mission scientists erred on the side of caution and declared Viking's discovery a false positive. But was it?

The arguments continue to rage, but results from NASA's latest rovers show that the surface of Mars was almost certainly wet in the past and therefore hospitable to life. And there is plenty more evidence where that came from, Levin says. "Every mission to Mars has produced evidence supporting my conclusion. None has contradicted it."

Joe Miller, a cell biologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, has re-analysed the data and he thinks that the emissions show evidence of a circadian cycle. That is highly suggestive of life.

Levin (who desingned the instrument onboard viking) iis petitioning ESA and NASA to fly a modified version of his mission to look for "chiral" molecules. These come in left or right-handed versions: they are mirror images of each other. While biological processes tend to produce molecules that favour one chirality over the other, non-living processes create left and right-handed versions in equal numbers. If a future mission to Mars were to find that Martian "metabolism" also prefers one chiral form of a molecule to the other, that would be the best indication yet of life on Mars.


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So what do we think guys?


I for one am dead cert that life exists. Look at the pics of the 'forests' that appear in summer, and thin out in winter. I was convinced on seeing thos, but am even more convinced after readinf several reports on the detection of methane.




posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:13 PM
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Viking was built and launched in the 70's, yes ? The data we retrieved could very well be wrong, or not tested to levels we can test to, now.
I agree, we need more probes headed there. Hell, we need "boots on the ground", imo.

Lex



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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There are bacteria that can lie dormant and survive even in outer space, then when nutrients are supplied the dormant bacteria becomes alive again to feed and reproduce going dormant again when it needs to. There could be dormant bacteria on mars, or it may not be dormant at all. They found bacteria that survives and lives on the inside of nuclear reactors. Point is if there can be life there will be life. I believe that there is Life on Mars and it is imperative that we acknowledge it so that we can come to grips that we are not the center of the universe.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 04:13 PM
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Methane can also be caused by volcanic activity,not just biological lifeforms.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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Hydrogen embrittlement is caused by hydrogen becommimng trapt in aluminum and forming methane. Organic does not mean life, it means organized, based on the structure of the molecules.

like never existed on mars.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:42 AM
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Yea, but, Mars is geologically DEAD. There isn't any geographic activity.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by TheRanchMan
Yea, but, Mars is geologically DEAD. There isn't any geographic activity.


Well, while I am certainly not ruling out the possibility that there may be some life on mars,at least microbial, I don't think we have really heard enough about Mars to come to any real defined conclusions about it. We get bits and pieces of iformation from NASA,but over the last five years or so, they have been pretty mum about the explorations on Mars.

I certainly do not expect them to tell us the complete truth about any of their findings. Shortly before my father passed away, him and I had a conversation about all of the money that is dished out on the space program. He was totally against space exploration...He seemed to think that it was rather pointless,but there was one point that he and I agreed on,I almost remember it word for word, funny how that happens.
I said, "Well, it's not like NASA is going to tell us the truth if they do find something up there...To which my dad replied, "That's what I am saying. So what's the point?"

What is really mysterious to me is that these "rovers" that they have on Mars have a tendency of getting "lost" or "losing its signal" at pretty inopportune times. Makes me wonder sometimes what is really going on.


jra

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth

Originally posted by TheRanchMan
Yea, but, Mars is geologically DEAD. There isn't any geographic activity.


Well, while I am certainly not ruling out the possibility that there may be some life on mars,at least microbial, I don't think we have really heard enough about Mars to come to any real defined conclusions about it. We get bits and pieces of iformation from NASA,but over the last five years or so, they have been pretty mum about the explorations on Mars.


I agree that we can't say for sure if the planet is geologically dead or not. There's a lot we don't know about the place yet. There could still be some minor geological activity.

I wouldn't say NASA's been quiet about Mars related stuff though.


What is really mysterious to me is that these "rovers" that they have on Mars have a tendency of getting "lost" or "losing its signal" at pretty inopportune times. Makes me wonder sometimes what is really going on.


Ummm what? I have never heard of the rovers losing there signal ever as far as I can recall. The only thing that's happened lately is losing contact with the MGS, but that orbiting probe has been there since 1997.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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They are consistently "losing contact" with their "rover." The last time I heard about "losing contact" was about 2003-03...Somewhere in there.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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As a matter iof fact, as recently as 2004\\

JEFFREY BROWN: It's been more than 24 hours since NASA scientists have received data from the rover called Spirit, which sits in a large crater on Mars. Up to this point, Spirit has functioned nearly flawlessly. But today, one of the leaders of the Mars project acknowledged what he called a "serious problem." Joining us now is the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Charles Elachi.

Dr. Elachi, welcome back to our program. The phrase used by one of the scientists at today's briefing was, "an extremely serious anomaly has occurred." What does that mean?

Mars Rover Contact


jra

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
As a matter iof fact, as recently as 2004\\

JEFFREY BROWN: It's been more than 24 hours since NASA scientists have received data from the rover called Spirit, which sits in a large crater on Mars. Up to this point, Spirit has functioned nearly flawlessly. But today, one of the leaders of the Mars project acknowledged what he called a "serious problem." Joining us now is the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Charles Elachi.

Dr. Elachi, welcome back to our program. The phrase used by one of the scientists at today's briefing was, "an extremely serious anomaly has occurred." What does that mean?

Mars Rover Contact


Ok I forgot about that one. That was right near the beginning of Spirits mission and it was an issue with the flash memory, but that was fixed.

One of the rovers losing its signal once is hardly like having a "tendency of getting "lost" or "losing its signal" at pretty inopportune times." Wouldn't you say? And don't forget that these rovers were ment to last for 3 months, but they've been going on for almost 3 years now.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 04:06 PM
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Well,I have a pretty nasty opinion about NASA in general because I personally don't think they are telling the general public the truth about many things. NASA is not nearly as open about its findings as say the ESA is....but that is really off topic...So,all just continue on.



posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by TheRanchMan
Yea, but, Mars is geologically DEAD. There isn't any geographic activity.


You mean geologic and um hello...largest volcanoes in the solar system? Evidence of faulting...at one time there was geologic activity and any trace amounts of methane remaining is fully plausible.



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