View Full Version : Mars Methane Gets Even More Mysterious

2010-Sep-20, 10:30 PM
Mars’ atmosphere consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen and water, as well as trace amounts of methane. The methane – although small in percentage – might be the most intriguing because the source of this very short-lived gas remains a mystery. And the mystery has just gotten [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/74091/mars-methane-gets-even-more-mysterious/)

2010-Sep-24, 12:49 PM
Oooh I like the use of "mysterious;" thanks Fraser.

We know neither the source nor the mechanism for depletion...


2010-Sep-24, 01:13 PM
What "depletion"?
The whole word does not even appear in the article.

2010-Sep-24, 01:29 PM
What "depletion"?
The whole word does not even appear in the article.

Yes, I was thinking of what I'd read in this (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920184228.htm) article from sciencedaily on the same discovery:

The mechanisms for removing methane from the atmosphere are also not clear. Photochemical processes would not break down the gas quickly enough to match observations. However, wind driven processes can add strong oxidisers to the atmosphere, such as the highly reactive salt perchlorate, which could soak up methane much more rapidly.

I should've stated "mechanism for removal" to be more precise.