Methane surge spotted in the red planet

Published: April 3, 2019

The European spacecraft, Mars Express orbiter has confirmed the presence of Methane gas in Mars. Methane being released in the red planet was first found by the NASA’s Curiosity Rover.  It measured the presence of Methane on 15 June 2013. It also said that the methane might have originated from the Gale Crater to the north of the rover.

Today the extent of methane in the Martian atmosphere is largely debated. This is mainly because methane is emitted only by biological and geological processes. The micro organism that lives in the past could get trapped in the ice. When the ice melts it releases the ancient methane. This might be confirmed after the investigation on the tectonic faults under a shallow ice region.

Apart from this there are geological processes that release methane like Serpentinisation ”process of mineral alteration due to heat.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter that was launched in 2016 would make a detailed inventory of the Martial atomosphere.