Mars Methane Press Conference

Discovery of Methane Reveals Mars Is Not A Dead Planet

"A team of NASA and university scientists has achieved the first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars. This discovery indicates the planet is either biologically or geologically active. The team found methane in the Martian atmosphere by carefully observing the planet throughout several Mars years with NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility and the W.M. Keck telescope, both at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The team used spectrometers on the telescopes to spread the light into its component colors, as a prism separates white light into a rainbow. The team detected three spectral features called absorption lines that together are a definitive signature of methane."

Michael Meyer: "Today we are going to hear that Mars is active - whether it is due to geology or biology - we do not know."

Michael Mumma: "Most of you have read this paper in Science."

Reader note: Actually, Dr. Mumma, most of us have not read the paper. I asked NASA PAO for a copy of the paper and they sent me this PDF file which represents what they submitted to Science. This paper represents the work of NASA civil servants and is in the public domain according to PAO.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 15, 2009 2:02 PM.

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