More fun news! Check out The Loom.
The researchers today today are reporting that in 2003 and 2006, they recorded plumes of methane rising from the surface of the Red Planet. Working back from their measurements of methane in the air, the researchers pinpointed some particular spots on Mars where the methane came from. And it’s a lot of methane they’re talking about–19,000 metric tons of the stuff in one plume. It’s coming out of Mars at the same rate seen at methane-producing spots on Earth.
Although there could be some weird geochemical explanation, it seems that one of the more likely candidates for producing this methane is biological, as the post discusses. In other words, Life! Probably some type of microbes. Same as how these methane spots are produced on the Earth. The really cool part is that this would not be fossils, but actual living things. Certainly something to keep a close eye on. I’m sure those microbes are keeping an eye on us…just waiting to activate their scouts and send out their tripods on a path of destruction. Or was that just a movie I saw?
Of course, life already existing on Mars may not pan out well for terraforming ideas though. Bummer. But the idea of finding life off the Earth is exciting enough to make up for that.
Update: We now have photographic evidence of the Martian lifeforms: