NASA's Curiosity rover discovered "startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air" on Wednesday in what could potentially be a sign of life on the Red Planet, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Clay often forms in the presence of water – a key ingredient for the evolution of life as it is known on Earth – and Curiosity’s latest findings add more evidence that a significant amount of water once pooled and flowed in Gale Crater on Mars.
Scientists detected a massive reservoir of frozen water sandwiched by layers of sand beneath the northern polar ice cap on Mars. This reservoir contains so much ice that, if melted and brought to the surface, it would submerge the entire planet.
The signal appears to have been generated inside the planet and not by any surface-level phenomenon. Three other seismic events were detected on 14 March, 10 and 11 April, but they were much smaller and their origins more ambiguous.
There was a big stir when reports emerged that the Curiosity rover had detected methane on Mars. But now an independent source has also detected methane on Mars.
There’s a massive, growing wall of evidence showing that Mars may have had the necessary conditions for life in the past. ESA’s High-Resolution Camera on the Mars Express Orbiter, there are clear signs of a system of river valleys.
For the first time in history, we can hear the wind on Mars. With its InSight Lander NASA provided a version of the recording shifted up in pitch, which pulls some of the otherwise-inaudible infrasound into hearing range.
InSight spacecraft plunged into the rarefied atmosphere of Mars at a speed of more than 12,000 mph Monday and braked to a gentle touchdown, setting the stage for a two-year surface mission to probe the planet’s deep interior.
As part of their 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge, NASA recently awarded five teams with a total of $100,000 for their designs for Martian habitats.