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Initial SAM results show an increase of five percent in heavier isotopes of carbon in the atmospheric carbon dioxide compared to estimates of the isotopic ratios present when Mars formed. These enriched ratios of heavier isotopes to lighter ones suggest the top of the atmosphere may have been lost to interplanetary space. Losses at the top of the atmosphere would deplete lighter isotopes. Isotopes of argon also show enrichment of the heavy isotope, matching previous estimates of atmosphere composition derived from studies of Martian meteorites on Earth. ..........
........Scientists theorize that in Mars' distant past its environment may have been quite different, with persistent water and a thicker atmosphere. NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission will investigate possible losses from the upper atmosphere when it arrives at Mars in 2014.
With these initial sniffs of Martian atmosphere, SAM also made the most sensitive measurements ever to search for methane gas on Mars. Preliminary results reveal little to no methane.
Methane is of interest as a simple precursor chemical for life. On Earth, it can be produced by either biological or non-biological processes.
Originally posted by SheopleNation
reply to post by eriktheawful
Well that's odd, The temperature on Mars may reach a high of around 70° Fahrenheit during certain times of the year, where Venus has a high of around 867° Fahrenheit.
So, with that being said, I think it's clear which planet is more interesting and that is Mars. Know why? Because there is much more of a chance of life existing, or to once have existed, on Mars. ~$heopleNation
Although the surface conditions on the planet are no longer hospitable to any Earthlike life that may have formed prior to this event, the possibility that a habitable niche still exists in the lower and middle cloud layers of Venus can not yet be excluded.
Owing to its extremely hostile conditions, a surface colony on Venus is out of the question with current technology. However, the atmospheric pressure and temperature approximately fifty kilometres above the surface are similar to those at the Earth's surface and Earth air (nitrogen and oxygen) would be a lifting gas in the Venusian atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide. This has led to proposals for extensive "floating cities" in the Venusian atmosphere. Aerostats (lighter-than-air balloons) could be used for initial exploration and ultimately for permanent settlements. Among the many engineering challenges are the dangerous amounts of sulfuric acid at these heights.