Methane @ Gale? - Page 2

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Barsoomer


Posts: 344

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PostPosted: November 3, 2012 1:54 AM 

The most promising way to improve the accuracy of the methane measurement is to remove the CO2 before using the TLS instrument because that would concentrate the remaining gasses. However, it will take several months before this will be done because of other priorities. One reporter asked about the priority given the wide public interest in the methane question. Apparently though the highest priority now is the use of SAM on soil.

I would think the methane work has a higher potential for immediate discovery than the ingestion of the dry sandy soil in the current location.

Other future atmospheric measurements will include H2O and its isotope rations.

By the way, the average pressure measured by the REMS instrument is now above 8 millibars. (Also it has been pointed out by a UMSF poster that 8 millibars at low Mars temperatures is actually a denser atmosphere than 8 mB would be at typical Earth temperatures.)

RJS


Posts: 125

Reply: 22



PostPosted: November 3, 2012 8:48 AM 


I missed the telecon, so I appreciate your updates and links Barsoomer. A blow for Martian pro-lifers for sure. Maybe we'll have to focus on ancient fossiles instead; if they exist.

Paul Scott Anderson


Posts: 53

Reply: 23



PostPosted: November 3, 2012 11:08 PM 

It should be remembered that the previous studies showed the methane to be seasonal, peaking in summer (it is the equivalent of late October or early November at Gale crater right now) and produced in three main "hotspots" in the northern hemisphere (none close to Gale).

Even if some methane was still distributed globally right now, it might well be below the 5 parts per billion limit that Curiosity has looked at so far. Further studies will be more sensitive and at different times of year.

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

Reply: 24



PostPosted: November 4, 2012 1:53 AM 

October or November in the southern hemisphere on Mars. Australia in the southern hemisphere on Earth, would be heading towards summer in October and November.

The word "burp" was used at the press conference to describe the Mumma detection. It may have been a one-time or rare event, perhaps a meteor impacting a reservoir of the gas like natural gas deposits on Earth. Of course that would presuppose prior life to create such deposits.

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