Science

Microbes burping methane on Mars may be right next to NASA rover

NASA’s Curiosity rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

An unknown source may be producing methane close to NASA’s Curiosity rover, with potential implications for life on Mars.

Since Curiosity landed in Gale crater on Mars in 2012, it has used an instrument called the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) to measure the amount of methane in its vicinity. Alongside a background level of about 0.41 parts per billion, on six occasions Curiosity has witnessed methane spikes, where methane levels have risen to 10 parts per billion, for unknown reasons.

Yangcheng Luo at the California …

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