Research press release


Nature Geoscience

Independent confirmation of methane detection on Mars



Marco Giurannaたちは今回、ゲールクレーター近傍における火星大気中のメタンをマーズエクスプレスに搭載された分光器で観測した結果を示した。この結果は、キュリオシティーで得られた測定結果とは独立した確証である。数値モデル化と地質学的分析を用いたメタンの潜在的な生成源の調査から、検出されたメタンは、ゲールクレーター近傍の断層地域における一時的な事象によって火星大気中に放出されたと考えられた。この位置の特定によって、この場所が今後の火星のメタンの起源の調査の中心となる可能性がある。

The detection of methane near Gale Crater on Mars by the Mars Express spacecraft on 16 June 2013, is reported in Nature Geoscience this week. This finding provides independent confirmation of debated measurements obtained by the Curiosity rover one day earlier.

Methane was discovered in the Martian atmosphere more than a decade ago, and was thought to have been produced biologically by microorganisms or by abiotic geochemical reactions. However, the potential mechanisms for its generation as well as the reliability of existing detections have been the subject of vigorous debate.

Marco Giuranna and colleagues present spacecraft-based spectrometer observations of methane in the Martian atmosphere near Gale Crater, which constitute independent confirmation of the measurements from Curiosity. An investigation of the potential source of the methane, using numerical modelling and geological analysis, suggests that transient events in a region of faults near Gale Crater are likely to have released the detected methane into the Martian atmosphere. The identification of this location may provide focus for future investigations into the origin of methane on Mars.

doi: 10.1038/s41561-019-0331-9


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