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Four months after the stunning announcement that NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered an “unusually high” levels of methane on Mars, the government, the space agency said that oxygen is “to act in a way that many people are not able to say,” on the Red Planet.
The Curiosity rover, which is exploring the Gale Crater since it landed on Mars in August 2012, has been analyzing the air by means of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. It was found that the oxygen in the atmosphere does not behave in the same way, that is, nitrogen, and argon did, and after a predictable season pattern, increasing and decreasing the concentration in the Gale Crater throughout the year, in comparison with how much CO2 is in the air.”
Instead, the amount of oxygen in the air during the spring and summer, has increased by as much as 30 percent, and then declined to levels that have been predicted by the well-known chemistry in the fall.
Sunset at the Viking Lander 1 site, in 1976. (Credit: NASA/JPL)
NASA: ANCIENT MARS, OASIS, WHICH COULD HAVE SUPPORTED LIFE
“This pattern repeated itself each and every the spring, even though the amount of oxygen added to the atmosphere is eclectic, which means that there is something that I have to produce, and then taking it away,” NASA wrote in a statement.
“The first time we saw it, it was just mind-boggling,” said study co-author Sushil Atreya, in a statement. The study, which was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
The atmosphere on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, with 2.6 per cent of molecular nitrogen, 1.9% argon, 0.16 percent oxygen and 0.06 percent carbon monoxide. By way of comparison, the Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0,9% argon, 0,03% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other elements.
(Credit: Melissa Trainer, Dan Gallagher/NASA Goddard)
The researchers tried to see if there were any errors, and checked to make sure SAM was at work, but they had no problems at all, leaving them stunned.
“We are struggling to get it out,” said the study’s lead author, Melissa Trainer, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “The fact that it is the oxygen, a behavior is not perfectly reproducible for each season reminds us that it is not a problem that has to do with the atmospheric dynamics. There are a number of chemical source and sink, which we have not yet been able to account for it.”
The space agency has said it is the oxygen, a mystery, is related to the methane mystery. In a statement released in June, the space agency has confirmed that the rover is measured as the largest amount of methane, 21 parts per billion by volume (ppbv), since landing on the Red Planet on Aug. 6, 2012.
NASA DENIES ALIEN LIFE WAS DISCOVERED ON MARS IN THE 1970’S
On Earth, methane is produced both from biological and geological sources, but NASA had warned in June that it was not clear where the methane was coming from, and how old he was. “With our current measurements, we do not have any way to tell if the methane is the source biology, or geology, or even ancient or modern,” SAM principal investigator Paul Mahaffy said at the time.
In August, a study by researchers at the University of Newcastle in the U. K ruled out the possibility that the methane spike was caused by the wind erosion of the rocks that had trapped gas, and liquid inclusions and fractures on the Red Planet’s surface.
(Credit: Melissa Trainer, Dan Gallagher/NASA Goddard)
It is also possible that the variability seen in the oxygen, and methane, which can be connected, Atreya added. “I think there’s something to it. I don’t have the answers yet. No one is doing it.”
The Curiosity rover did not have the right tools for the discovery of where the methane and oxygen come out of it,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Timothy McConnochie.
“We have not been able to come up with a process that produces the oxygen that we need, but we believe that it is in the area of land that changes depending on the season, because there are not enough oxygen atoms in the earth’s atmosphere to create the behavior that we’re used to,” McConnochie said.
NASA’S CHIEF SCIENTIST, SAID: “WE ARE CLOSE TO THE LIFE ON MARS
August, 2019 at the latest, marked Curiosity ” s seventh anniversary on the Red Planet. Ever since it landed on the martian surface in 2012, but it has a number of significant discoveries, including the finding of “very high” levels of methane, and has a “shiny” object, likely a meteorite. In June, NASA released an image taken by the Curiosity turned out to be a mysterious, strange, white light.
In Aug. 5 blog post, NASA said that the Curiosity was to explore the Gale Crater, and the revelation of the secrets of the clay-bearing unit, which is the use of the tool in order to drill into the Martian soil.
The Red Planet once had a very wet floor covered with a wide-ranging rivers and streams. Water is the lifeblood of our planet, but it is unclear whether or not Mars ever supported (or support) of life.
NASA is hoping that Curiosity, which “still has a few more years before the nuclear power system is degraded enough to significantly restrict the activities that can provide additional information regarding the planet prior to the launch of the Mars 2020 rover mission.
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Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this story.