Thursday, September 19, 2013
Mars Curiosity-- after a year, no sign of methane
The scientific team operating the Mars Curiosity rover has now published their year-long search for methane without any positive results. Detection of methane near the surface of Mars would have been a "smoking gun" for ongoing life on that planet, and indeed some earth-based observations have suggested large scale releases of methane reaching Mars' atmosphere. So it does put a pretty strong limit of how much life could be there right now. But it is still an open possibility whether there was life a long time ago.