NASA is indicating something very unexpected is going on the surface of Mars:
“New research reveals there is hope for Mars yet. The first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars indicates the planet is still alive, in either a biologic or geologic sense, according to a team of NASA and university scientists”
Read the full article here.
Most planetologists thought that Mars had an inactive solid core – like the Moon or Mercury. (Earth, Venus and all the Gas Giants are still active and molten.) This research would indicate that not to be the case.
This might represent the presence of some sort of subsurface microbial life on Mars that is “pooping” out Methane as part of it’s life-process. Which would mean, as some are suggesting, that we’ve finally discovered life on other planets.
The former would be interesting. The latter would phenomenal.
I’m still skeptical. There doesn’t seem to be enough of an energy flow to support like on Mars. Life exists by sucking up a bit of energy and dumping lower energy waste products. Plants subsist on high quality and abundant light derived from a 6K degree photosphere of the Sun. Deep sea hot vent life relies on chemicals cooked by rocks at a few hundred degrees C. But life below the surface of Mars can’t rely on light and Mars doesn’t have a molten interior setting up heat flows. At least Europa and Enceladus have tidal forces generating sufficient heat to support some kind of life. I just don’t see it on Mars. I suspect we’ll find some inorganic chemistry supporting a evaporate/condense cycle of methane.