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Thread: Molecular Oxygen on Mars is Behaving Unusually Through the Seasons. A Sign of Life?

  1. #1
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    Molecular Oxygen on Mars is Behaving Unusually Through the Seasons. A Sign of Life?

    An atmospheric drama has been playing out on Mars lately. Up until now, the main actor has been methane, and its unusual, spiking behaviour. But now Oxygen is taking the stage, and performing some theatrics of its own. NASA’s Curiosity rover is busy examining Mars to see if it could have supported microbial life in …
    Continue reading "Molecular Oxygen on Mars is Behaving Unusually Through the Seasons. A Sign of Life?"
    The post Molecular Oxygen on Mars is Behaving Unusually Through the Seasons. A Sign of Life? appeared first on Universe Today.


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  2. #2
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    Oxygen is relatively abundant in the solar wind, after H, He, Fe, Si, S, O...SEE:https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gall...rge/cel001.jpg
    Hydrogen is a reducing agent, passing warm hydrogen gas over CuO powder in a glass test tube quickly converts the oxide to metallic copper. The helium is inert. Though the sulfur, iron and silicon can pick up oxygen, to form oxides, in a reducing atmosphere (the warm/hot solar wind composed mostly of hydrogen), i'd expect the kinetics should favor reducing those oxides. Studies of the wind show a great variety of species, and hydrogen that picks up oxygen to make water, can dissociate under intense solar ultraviolet radiation, freeing up the oxygen. Atomic oxygen is thermodynamically favored to form molecular oxygen (the airglow reaction), so some would be impinging on Mar's very thin atmosphere, along with the other species.
    But, Mars' highly elliptical orbit brings it much closer to the sun during perihelion, and a lot farther away during aphelion. The solar wind density pretty much thins as aphelion is approached, so there would be more oxygen diffusing into the Martian atmosphere during Martian summer, than during Martian winter. The composition of the solar wind isotopically will vary some over the solar cycle, and since the Martian year is a lot shorter than the sunspot cycle, the highs and lows seen in the graph should not repeat. (as is seen )..
    SEE: https://www.universetoday.com/144001...-sign-of-life/

    pete

  3. #3
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    Oxygen is relatively abundant in the solar wind, after H, He, Fe, Si, S, O...SEE:https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gall...rge/cel001.jpg
    Hydrogen is a reducing agent, passing warm hydrogen gas over CuO powder in a glass test tube quickly converts the oxide to metallic copper. The helium is inert. Though the sulfur, iron and silicon can pick up oxygen, to form oxides, in a reducing atmosphere (the warm/hot solar wind composed mostly of hydrogen), i'd expect the kinetics should favor reducing those oxides. Studies of the wind show a great variety of species, and hydrogen that picks up oxygen to make water, can dissociate under intense solar ultraviolet radiation, freeing up the oxygen. Atomic oxygen is thermodynamically favored to form molecular oxygen (the airglow reaction), so some would be impinging on Mar's very thin atmosphere, along with the other species.
    But, Mars' highly elliptical orbit brings it much closer to the sun during perihelion, and a lot farther away during aphelion. The solar wind density pretty much thins as aphelion is approached, so there would be more oxygen diffusing into the Martian atmosphere during Martian summer, than during Martian winter. The composition of the solar wind isotopically will vary some over the solar cycle, and since the Martian year is a lot shorter than the sunspot cycle, the highs and lows seen in the graph should not repeat. (as is seen )..
    SEE:https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gall...rge/cel001.jpg

    pete

  4. #4
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    This paragraph in this report, I think, is complete UT reporter lobbyist bunkum:
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Gough
    Both oxygen and methane can have biological sources. But both can also have abiotic sources. These surprising results donít help answer the question of life on Mars. MSL Curiosity canít tell if the oxygen and methane have biological sources: it doesnít have the instruments. For now, most scientists think that non-biological sources are more likely.
    In fact, the SAM TLS was specifically designed to detect and isolate various isotopes which are used in tracing biotic activity:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mahaffy(?)
    The laser spectrometer measures the abundance of various isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in atmospheric gases such as methane, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. Because these compounds are essential to life as we know it, understanding their relative abundances is essential for evaluating whether Mars could have supported life in the past or present.

  5. #5
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    The deal on Neutral Interstellar Medium gas is in the following article. Measurements made near earth should be a little lower at Mars, as the medium is expanding outwards, traveling away from the sun. But two satellites designed to collect data show a surprising ratio for oxygen (green line in the flux/second/ steradian graph....Figure 5). At solar minimum, left side middle graph, oxygen is almost a thousand around March 30 (Day of Year...~120). At solar maximum, it has a big drop actually around Thanksgiving...(Day of Year ~ 325)...where it drops to one. That's three orders of magnitude, so it is little surprise that the Martian oxygen molecular count is varying for when Mars approaches Martian winter for a minimum at aphelion, and ~22 months later Martian summer @ perihelion.
    The two satellites, IMAP and IBEX traveling with Earth, are seeing the same kinds of variation. SEE:https://arxiv.org/pdf/1911.10265.pdf

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