and of course, the quote of the day:
Something is happening beneath the surface of Mars that causes substantial
amounts of methane gas to vent regularly into the atmosphere, a discovery that
NASA scientists said yesterday represents the strongest indication so far that
life may exist, or once existed, on the planet.
The methane is released into the atmosphere in specific areas and at regular times, they found, in a pattern that would be consistent with the gas being a byproduct of biological activity beneath the planet's parched surface.
Principal investigator Michael Mumma, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said the detection does not mean that life definitely exists on Mars, since the gas can also be produced by subsurface geological or chemical processes.
Nevertheless, "we believe this definitely increases the prospects for finding life on Mars," said Mumma, whose findings are being published today in the journal Science. "No other discovery has done as much to increase the chances of finding life."
Pratt called the methane find "a breathtaking discovery."poot.