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Fraser
2004-Oct-29, 04:29 PM
SUMMARY: Researchers from the University of Michigan have recently published their findings about methane in the Martian atmosphere. The methane was discovered using the planetary Fourier spectrometer, which is one of seven instruments on board the ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, which was launched to Mars in 2003. The spectrometer has detected methane at an average of 10 parts per billion by volume; a very small amount compared to 1700 ppbv found here on Earth. Earth-based methane is created almost entirely by life, so the researchers hope that the same process is happening on Mars.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Duane
2004-Oct-29, 07:29 PM
Earth-based methane is created almost entirely by life

Key word: almost.

Still, room to hope.

TuTone
2004-Oct-29, 08:19 PM
For real! :lol:

om@umr.edu
2004-Oct-29, 10:00 PM
The finding of biogenic methane on Mars would be great news!

But scientific findings should be presented without bias.

The report says:

"The spectrometer has detected methane at an average of 10 parts per billion by volume; a very small amount compared to 1700 ppbv found here on Earth. Earth-based methane is created almost entirely by life, so the researchers hope that the same process is happening on Mars."

The planet order and methane level in the atmospheres of Earth, Mars and Jupieter are:

Planet.......Methane (ppbv)

Earth..................1,700
Mars.......................10
Jupiter.......2,100,000*

Thus, the evidence for biogenic methane on Mars weakens considerably when an unbiased comparison is made with methane levels in both neighboring planets.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

*This number for methane in Jupiter's atmosphere was reported by some of the same University of Michigan scientists, "The Galileo Probe Mass Spectrometer: Composition of Jupiter's Atmosphere", Science volume 272 (1996) pages 846-849.

Guest
2004-Oct-30, 04:04 PM
we are always finding out new stuff on the red planet

om@umr.edu
2004-Oct-31, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by Guest@Oct 30 2004, 04:04 PM
we are always finding out new stuff on the red planet
Right, Guest!

However, the presence of ultra-trace levels methane (10 ppb) is not evidence of Martian life.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

VanderL
2004-Oct-31, 11:06 AM
However, the presence of ultra-trace levels methane (10 ppb) is not evidence of Martian life.


Or Jupiter must be teeming with life!!

Cheers.

deffodave
2004-Nov-01, 10:31 PM
"Methane is a potential biomarker, if a planet has methane we begin to think of the possibility of life on the planet."

Can i just say who lets these people write this stuff. This is said like we have found hundreds of life spawning plannets with methane, and this is some sort of standard rule for discovering life on another plannet. How about they find life then write crap about it.

tru dat!

om@umr.edu
2004-Nov-01, 11:27 PM
Unfortunately, deffodave, science has been corrupted by the very funds intended to support this effort.

The search for truth has been side-tracked by the search for grant funds and fame. Federal agencies can not persuade Congress to give them more money if their scientists aren't making headline-grabbing news.

Since the end of WWII, scientists have learned how to play the game. Thus, there are frequent discoveries of whatever will gain additional funding for the federal agency.

However, do not despair. The search for truth is part of everyone's spiritual journey through life.

"Satyam eva jayate nanritan."
"Truth is victorious, never untruth."
Mundaka Upanishad, III.1.6

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om