If Only We Could Harness the Martian Methane Belch

January 17, 2009 / No Comments

If only we could harness the Martian methane belch

methane belch mars If Only We Could Harness the Martian Methane Belch

There was a surprising and mysterious belch of methane gas on Mars NASA says. NASA thinks there might be microbial life underground, but admitted the gas could come from changes in rocks. Methane gas on earth is by far mostly a byproduct of life — animal digestion and decaying plants and animals.

This is the first study to find regular methane on Mars. Some 21,000 tons of methane were released during a few months in late summer of 2003. Hmm…I wonder, could we run a pipe from Mars to Earth? Nah. Doesn’t seem likely, does it?

“This raises the probability substantially that life was there or still survives at the present,” says the study author at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

By 2006, most of the methane had disappeared…adding to the mystery of the gas.

A similar phenomenon to the Mars belch happens in the waters near Santa Barbara, Calif. There the gas comes from decaying life in the sea floor. Even microbes in the Arctic and other extreme Earth environments release methane even they don’t use O2.

Methane is not only a waste product of life, it is also food for other life. NASA doesn’t know where the methane came from but they’d sure like to have it appear again. What do you think about the possibility of life in space?