Mars Methane Burping
Super-interesting research from Mars has come out today: It seems that there are consistent emissions of methane into the Martian atmosphere. The methane was first detected 5 years ago, and it’s still there today. Methane is broken down by sunlight, so that means that the methane wasn’t just released in a geological anomaly. It’s still being released into the atmosphere today.
There are three possible sources of the methane: One is the reaction of the minerals olivine and pyroxene with water. Another possible source is current Martian life. Methane is a process of some metabolic processes here on Earth. The final possible source of methane on Mars is extinct Martian life. There are many places on Earth where methane exists in frozen form. Perhaps ancient Martian life created methane deposits that are now melting.
Whatever the source, the methane on Mars could serve as a source of energy for future exploration and eventual colonization of the red planet.