It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Martian Methane Reveals the Red Planet is not a Dead Planet

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 10:50 AM

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.


Organisms on Earth release methane as they digest nutrients.

What is releasing methane on Mars? What else really.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by SuperSlovak

The "new research" is from 2003 (the article is from last January).
But there are other possibilities than life (though life would be nice).

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.

[edit on 12/8/2009 by Phage]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:09 AM
So....Mars probably smells pretty bad?

Sorry. Had to go there.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:17 AM
The misterious Methane that nobody know how it is created.....

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:50 AM
Check this post out that was hidden in plain sight above yours. I bet you might have a great conversation on the same subject as that post is already entering 3 pages long.
Top secret post right above yours lol

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 12:34 PM

Originally posted by SuperSlovak
Organisms on Earth release methane as they digest nutrients.

What is releasing methane on Mars? What else really.

it had to be, or has to be, something ORGANIC
only carbon-based life (as far as i know) emits and/or degrades into methane

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by queenannie38

You should look up a link to 'abiotic' methane formation.

Methane is everywhere in our Solar System, it would seem:

Extraterrestrial methane

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[20]
>Enceladus - the atmosphere contains 1.7% methane[21]
>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

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 12:55 PM
Ok Ok ... I have to say this again ... People, chillax.
For a start. We the human race, are pig ignorant and arrogant. We need to accept that we know nothing, only then will we be able to accept information for what it is .
We rely too heavily on what has already been learned , creating a dangerous chasm of error between what we know, and what we merely assume because mathematical science when percieved in a certain way, supports it. For all we know the Methane might occur as a result of some unknown process in the body of mars. Thats not to say that theres no life there. Im just saying all this hype is pointless till we have been there, geomapped every square meter of the place down to the core of the planet, and sifted a WHOLE crap load of samples . Only THEN can we blow off steam about how there is or isnt life. Until they decide to go there, the whole discussion , and both sides of the argument for and against, are just looking stupid as far as I am concerned. Debate something that can be proven at some point why dont you ?

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:20 PM
reply to post by Phage

So did they ever find out were the mars methane was coming from? Nope.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by weedwhacker
You should look up a link to 'abiotic' methane formation.

Methane is everywhere in our Solar System, it would seem:

yes, i realize this.
i also said, in my post, "as far as i know"

and i say that from the perspective of chemistry.
methane is one part carbon, four parts hydrogen
hydrogen, of course is the most plentiful element in the universe, and carbon is the fourth most plentiful (or sixth, depending on who you ask)

now, admittedly, the methane on Mars could be caused from the process of iron oxidation, (geologic) but they can't be sure until they find out more about the presence and proportions of heavy water to H2O, and there are a lot of other factors involved that mostly fly over the top of my head, but it does appear that this, from geologic processes, is a far less likely hypothesis than from organic processes.

here is more from NASA

and of course, there's the methane that comes from volcanic eruptions - and Mars certainly is the home to the granddaddy of all super-volcanoes, Olympus Mons. but even the most recent estimate of volcanic activity on Mars puts it somewhere around 4 million years ago, which they say is too long ago to have been the cause for the concentration of methane already detected.

but even so...volcanoes are associated with terrestrial life, too.
where there are active volcanoes, there is organic life
dead volcanoes and tectonics could very well mean that there WAS life on Mars but it did not endure because the geothermic activity petered out (or whatever)....

'abiotic' is (according toWiki):

In biology, abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment.[1] 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.

so...even abiotic methane might prove itself to be dependent upon a previous existence associated with carbon-based life!
we don't know yet.

TrueBrit is right, humanity is far more ignorant than knowledgeable. but we continue to seek answers and we can only stand upon the foundations we've already built with past learning and experience.

if i had to bet, i'd say methane on Mars is biologic rather than geologic.
but that's just me

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:39 PM
reply to post by SuperSlovak

There is no way at this time to know the source of the methane. There is not enough data.

[edit on 12/8/2009 by Phage]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 08:06 PM
well, doesnt sulfur aid in releasing abiotic methane as well as Iron oxide?
or does sulfur just aid in decomposition of organic tissue? If Mars has a liquid core that could explain atleast some of the methane release.. but if sulfur merely aids in decomposition of organic materials.... what is it decomposing? crap now my head hurts.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 10:35 PM
Of course it isin't do you think they are keeping the rovers clean?

You would think they would have color images but all the latest one's are black and white, why? Did I just not go to the right page?

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:43 PM
It's totally a martian Barter-Town underground with all the pig crap making the smellies.

the Martian Tina Turner is going to be pissed when we bust her cover.
but that's ok because We Don't Need Another Hero, do we Mel?

ok mars images geeks... get to work on finding Master and Blaster. scuttling around on the surface.

and you skeptics.. get to work on proving me wrong.


new topics

top topics


log in