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NASA's Curiosity rover confirmed the presence of Methane in Mars

Last Updated: June 26, 2019

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NASA's Curiosity rover confirmed the presence of Methane in Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover confirmed the presence of Methane in Mars

26 June 2019 Current Affairs: NASA has confirmed that the Curiosity rover, the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, recently detected the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission. Curiosity's methane reading came to 21 parts per billion units by volume. It is thrice the amount it sniffed out during a surge in 2013.
During a follow-up test later, though, scientists found that the methane levels around the rover already dropped sharply. Curiosity detected normal methane levels, that is 1 part per billion by volume, following the sudden elevation. It suggested that the abnormally high values came from transient methane plumes. 
As Curiosity is not equipped with instruments to determine whether the source of methane is biological or geological, the scientists are yet to figure out a pattern for Martian's transient plumes. 
The scientists plan to gather more information through Curiosity and from other missions to gain a deeper understanding of the plumes. The scientist will be able to understand whether the presence of methane on the red planet truly is a sign of life only if they finds where the plumes are coming from. 

Methane:
♦ Methane is a gas formed by both geological and biological processes. 
♦ It is the main constituent of natural gas. It is a group-14 hydride and the simplest alkane with the chemical formula CH4. 
♦ The methane concentration in earth's atmospheric has increased by about 150% since 1750.
♦ Methane accounts for 20% of the total radiative forcing from all of the long-lived and globally mixed greenhouse gases.
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