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No Sign of Methane on Mars; Abstract Thought Melts Political Convictions
The Atlantic Wire 'blog ^ | November 2012 | David Wagner

Posted on 11/02/2012 7:25:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Methane is M.I.A. on Mars. Back in 2009, NASA announced some pretty astounding observations from Mars. They thought they'd spotted signs of methane in the red planet's atmosphere, which would force astronomers to contemplate the possibility of biological activity on Mars. NASA's Curiosity rover hasn't made any close encounters of the third kind yet, and after analyzing Mars' atmosphere, turned up no traces of methane. The rover used its Sample Analysis at Mars to measure atmospheric composition for the first time today, and while more tests need to be conducted to determine methane presence definitely, it's not looking good for everyone who hoped Curiosity would find little green men. "The bottom line is that we have no detection of methane so far," says NASA/JPL's Chris Webster. "But we're going to keep looking in the months ahead since Mars, as we all know, may yet hold surprises for us." [Space.com]

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlanticwire.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; mars; thomasgold
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

No Sign of Methane on Mars

1 posted on 11/02/2012 7:25:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...



2 posted on 11/02/2012 7:42:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Ohhhhhh.....The Atlantic Magazine........

The Atlantic....full of old wrecks, fish sh-t and crabs.


3 posted on 11/02/2012 7:46:43 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SunkenCiv
They thought they'd spotted signs of methane in the red planet's atmosphere, which would force astronomers to contemplate the possibility of biological activity on Mars.

How is it that methane is such an indicator for life? Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't science established significant amounts of methane in the upper atmospheres of both Uranus and Neptune? I don't think anyone is expecting to find life on either of those two worlds.

4 posted on 11/02/2012 7:54:00 PM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: SunkenCiv

didn’t Algore say that methane is caused by cow farts? And we know Mars is made of green cheese, thus...


5 posted on 11/02/2012 8:34:12 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Drew68

Methane is generated by biological activity (e.g., decomposition) and can indeed indicate biological activity. I can’t find it here, but at home (somewhere) I’ve got a paper or two from the late Thomas Gold discussing methane and other hydrocarbons on other celestial bodies.


6 posted on 11/02/2012 8:37:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

What an absolute waste of money on the hobby of the anointed ones. They have not turned up anything that they didn’t already know from previous observations.


7 posted on 11/02/2012 8:38:10 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (The law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving and vindictive b!tch!)
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The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth
by Thomas Gold
U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 1570
The Future of Energy Gases
1993
Hydrocarbons in our planetary system are certainly very abundant, and in all the extraterrestrial examples mentioned almost certainly not related to biology. Also hydrocarbons are prominent among the gases identified in the molecular clouds of the galaxy, and it is from such clouds that the solar system formed initially. The presence and great abundance of hydrocarbons is universal, and no special mechanism for their generation on the Earth needs to be invoked, unless one knew with certainty that they could not have survived the formation process here, although they did so on many of the other planetary bodies. No evidence of hydrocarbons has yet been seen on Mars, Moon, Venus and Mercury... In earlier times there was the belief that the Earth had formed as a hot, molten body. In that case no hydrocarbons or hydrogen would have survived against oxidation, nor would any of these substances have been maintained in the interior after solidification. With that belief, there seemed no other possibility of accounting for the hydrocarbons embedded in the crust than by the outgassing of carbon in the form of CO2, produced by materials that could have survived in a hot Earth, and subsequent photosynthesis by plants that converted this CO2 into unoxidized carbon compounds. This consideration is irrelevant now that we know that a cold formation process assembled the Earth and that hydrocarbons could have been maintained, and could be here for the same reasons as they are on the other planetary bodies.

8 posted on 11/02/2012 8:43:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: RetiredTexasVet

Wrong, they’ve discovered that there’s no proof of methane.


9 posted on 11/02/2012 8:44:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Hold on a dang 1/1440 of a Sol. I'm pretty sure methane found on Mars was just in the news!

10 posted on 11/02/2012 8:56:00 PM PDT by Errant
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To: SunkenCiv

it’s amazing to me that if they discover a microrganism of any nature whatsoever on Mars, they will determine that it is LIFE....if a woman is six months pregnant it is merely a part of her body that she chooses to get rid of....not life


11 posted on 11/02/2012 8:59:01 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: bigbob

Makes sense to me.

Plus, Al Gore invented NASA and space travel.


12 posted on 11/02/2012 9:04:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: terycarl

Well said.


13 posted on 11/02/2012 9:10:29 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Errant

I think it's a matter of suppressing expectations -- if no microbial life is discovered by direct sampling (or rather, rediscovered), then a lack of methane won't be surprising; whereas, if there's loads of methane, and no microbes, big problem.
The Viking Labeled Release Experiment and Life on Mars
by Gilbert V. Levin
Many hypotheses have been advanced and tested in attempts to account for the well-characterized activity detected in the surface material of Mars by the LR experiment. As shown above, these hypotheses have themselves been found wanting. The demonstrated success of the LR and the exquisite sensitivity with which it has detected microorganisms during its extensive test program with its record of no false positives can no longer be denied. No non-biological approach published, or known to the author, has duplicated the LR Mars data. Some laboratory experiments have produced positive responses, but the detailed thermal sensitivity exhibited by the variety of controls conducted on Mars has remained elusive in all such tests compatible with martian conditions. On the other hand, a combination of known properties of microorganisms, perhaps even those possessed by single species, could reproduce all aspects of the LR data. The biological interpretation of the Mars LR results is left standing alone. Recent discoveries of life forms thriving in extraordinarily severe environments on Earth strongly indicate that any alien organisms arriving on Mars might well and widely adapt to their new home. Application of the scientific principle leads to a conclusion: the Viking LR experiment detected living microorganisms in the soil of Mars.

14 posted on 11/02/2012 9:10:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

I was so hoping there was something farting up there.


15 posted on 11/02/2012 9:11:37 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: SunkenCiv
Methane is generated by biological activity (e.g., decomposition) and can indeed indicate biological activity. I can’t find it here, but at home (somewhere) I’ve got a paper or two from the late Thomas Gold discussing methane and other hydrocarbons on other celestial bodies.

Certainly nobody expects to find biological activity on Uranus or Neptune. (Then again, who knows?) Yet, methane presence on both of these frigid gas giants is well agreed upon.

For the record, I believe that Mars was once wet, temperate and possessing of at least, microbial life.

16 posted on 11/02/2012 9:26:21 PM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: SunkenCiv

SAM has already detected traces of methane. Previous projections have shown that a quantity of 200 to 300 tons of methane is produced annually on Mars. How to explain such a large quantity? One hypothesis proposes the source to be geological methane sources in Mars’ interior. Another hypothesis claims that high-energy UV radiation triggers the release of methane from meteorites, which continuously impact on the Martian surface. Methane is also a gas that is commonly produced by living organisms here on Earth, so a popular hypothesis is that this methane might be produced by Mars-based organic life. But the mission team isn’t ready to announce any results or conclusions from SAM yet Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/382271/mars-soil-like-hawaii-curiosity-rover-finds-dirt-to-be-volcanic-video/#JAdj6yEVPUtWXLQT.99

?

17 posted on 11/02/2012 9:37:36 PM PDT by Errant
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To: SunkenCiv

NASA’s Curiosity rover discovers methane on Mars
The Bell Jar ^ | October 23, 2012 | Jessica Lear |

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9:22:07 PM by BenLurkin

NASA’s Curiosity is causing a stir in the scientific community after the Mars rover found methane on the planet. Using its on board Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, the rover was able to determine that the biotic gas methane is present on Mars.

Although methane can be produced by geologic mechanisms, it is most often associated with living organisms. This has caught the attention of many scientists who think finding methane on Mars might mean there is life on the planet. This life may not necessarily mean extraterrestrial beings, more realistically....

....scientists were expecting the rover to find methane at some level on Mars, but it was predicted to be below one part per billion. However, the variability of the methane Curiosity has found isn’t quite what was expected.

“Methane on Mars should have a lifetime of 300 years and should not be variable,” he said. “If it is variable, this is very hard to explain with present theory. It requires unexpected sources and unexpected sinks.”


18 posted on 11/02/2012 10:37:20 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Drew68

Plenty of methane around Demorat’s Uranus butt signs
of life are fading fast........


19 posted on 11/02/2012 10:51:50 PM PDT by Sivad (Nor Cal Red Turf)
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To: RetiredTexasVet
What an absolute waste of money on the hobby of the anointed ones. They have not turned up anything that they didn’t already know from previous observations.

Exactly the opposite. This test got an unexpected result. Earlier tests indicated methane, and this test did not.

Did you even bother to read the article before tossing out your inane knee-jerk comment? And which "anointed ones" do you refer to? And which wastes of money were you referring to? (Like maybe those scientific advances that made it possible for you to type your mistaken indignation to the world within seconds, perhaps?)

20 posted on 11/02/2012 11:02:44 PM PDT by Teacher317 ('Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Mars may have had water but it never had farting whales?


21 posted on 11/03/2012 2:11:07 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SunkenCiv

I should hope that for that amount of money and time that they also proved that there was no (list of all the periodic table of elements).


22 posted on 11/03/2012 2:58:58 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (The law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving and vindictive b!tch!)
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To: Teacher317

This test got an unexpected result. Earlier tests indicated methane, and this test did not.

So to prove it conclusively, the results of the best 57 out of 113 tests should be considered the absolutely correct test result.

I should hope that for that amount of money and time that they also proved that there was no (list of all the periodic table of elements).


23 posted on 11/03/2012 3:02:57 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (The law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving and vindictive b!tch!)
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