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New research reveals there is hope for Mars yet. The first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars indicates the planet is still alive, in either a biologic or geologic sense, according to a team of NASA and university scientists.
If microscopic Martian life is producing the methane, it likely resides far below the surface, where it's still warm enough for liquid water to exist.
However, it is possible a geologic process produced the Martian methane, either now or eons ago. On Earth, the conversion of iron oxide (rust) into the serpentine group of minerals creates methane, and on Mars this process could proceed using water, carbon dioxide, and the planet's internal heat. Although we don’t have evidence on Mars of active volcanoes today, ancient methane trapped in ice "cages" called clathrates might now be released.
Originally posted by SuperSlovak
Organisms on Earth release methane as they digest nutrients.
What is releasing methane on Mars? What else really.
Methane has been detected or is believed to exist in several locations of the solar system. It is believed to have been created by abiotic processes, with the possible exception of Mars.
Moon - traces are present in the thin atmosphere
Mars - the atmosphere contains 10 ppb methane. In January 2009, NASA scientists announced that they had discovered that the planet regularly vents methane into the atmosphere in specific areas at regular times, leading some to speculate this may be a sign of biological activity going on below the surface.
Jupiter - the atmosphere contains about 0.3% methane
Saturn - the atmosphere contains about 0.4% methane
>Titan — the atmosphere contains 1.6% methane
>Enceladus - the atmosphere contains 1.7% methane
>Uranus - the atmosphere contains 2.3% methane
>Ariel - methane is believed to be a constituent of Ariel's surface ice
>Oberon - about 20% of Oberon's surface ice is composed of methane-related carbon/nitrogen compounds
T>itania - about 20% of Titania's surface ice is composed of methane-related organic compounds
>Umbriel - methane is a constituent of Umbriel's surface ice
Neptune - the atmosphere contains 1.6% methane
>Triton - Triton has a tenuous nitrogen atmosphere with small amounts of methane near the surface.
Pluto - spectroscopic analysis of Pluto's surface reveals it to contain traces of methane
Originally posted by weedwhacker
You should look up a link to 'abiotic' methane formation.
Methane is everywhere in our Solar System, it would seem:
In biology, abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment. Despite being non-living, abiotic components can impact evolution. Things that were once living but now dead are usually considered biotic (for example, corpses and spilled blood). However, depending upon the definition, components from living things that are no longer living can be considered part of the biotic or abiotic component. Generally, things that were once living are considered part of the biotic component, but body waste such as feces, urine (and carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water from respiration) are considered abiotic because those components were never living in an organism.