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Methane Everywhere (I Told You All!)

  1. Apr 4, 2004 #1
    Vindication is mine, unbelievers!

    10 years of screaming about Methane in the Martian Atmosphere! Well done Mars Express (you've released what NASA refused to with the Viking 2 Lander detection of Methane in the Martian atmosphere).

    Methane (on Mars) is a biologically-produced gas (despite what Russ and the rest say).

    Refer;
    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=887&id=361742004
    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=887&id=363102004
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2004 #2

    Janitor

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    But then again

    'Tis the season for April fools jokes.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2004 #3

    enigma

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    No April Fools.

    I saw this on www.msnbc.com a few days ago.

    It may be caused by vulcanism or comet impacts, but it's there.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2004 #4

    enigma

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  6. Apr 5, 2004 #5

    russ_watters

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    Did I ever say it isn't biologically produced? IIRC, the average human releases some about 20 times a day. This does not, however, imply that all methane is biologically produced, nor does it imply that the methane on mars is biologically produced. It says right there in the 4th paragraph of the article that vulcanism also produces it.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2004 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    Dearly Missed

    Plus, previous landers have suggested Mars has a prebiotic chemistry that could produce chemicals that on our planet are only made by living things, without the living things.
     
  8. Apr 5, 2004 #7

    Phobos

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    FWIW, the 4 gas planets (pun intended) & Saturn's moon Titan have methane in their atmospheres.
     
  9. Apr 5, 2004 #8
    Active Vulcanism Vs. Life Today (No Competition)

    An eruption of a volcano has NEVER been observed on Mars (yet we HAVE seen one on Io). With all the cameras pointed at Mars, don't you think we'd get a hint of a plume, once in a while. Nuh, you will all say...

    There is NO active vulcanism on Mars today (nor is there any evidence - besides “rootless cones”) for any vulcanism in millenia.
    http://www.solarviews.com/eng/marsvolc.htm

    Active Vulcanism on Mars today Vs. Life Today.
    I know where my bets lie...
     
  10. Apr 5, 2004 #9
    As Mars continues to surprise us all I would say that the more we discover about Martian Geology the more we will relate it to our planet. But since our planet is of different composition however there is more variables in the equations making it more unpredictable compared to Mars. Mars is dry, there is little water so far as we know, there is no visible ocean coving most of the planet nor having an influence on the possible tectonic plates of Mars. There is also no moon as large as ours orbiting Mars which on our planet influences geology also. Since Mars lacks so many variables as we know so far then these Volcanoes must not be as active as ours. They could explode every 300 years or every 100 years. There's really no way of really telling based off of photographs of seemingly inactive Volcanoes from our standpoint. Personally I believe we would have to send a pretty sophisticated robot there to do some analysis directly on a volcano, or else send a human team, or else have the current Martian Rovers search for signs of recent ash on the planet within their areas.
    As far as Active as in Hawaii active where you can check out Lava flows and so on there appear to be none on Mars currently. But there could be a potential Mt. St. Helens waiting to explode one day which would make it an active but dormant volcano.

    -=|peace|=-
     
  11. Apr 5, 2004 #10
  12. Apr 5, 2004 #11
  13. Apr 5, 2004 #12
    Yes, its great that we can observe Io and it's erupting Volcanoes. Yet there are different variables that cause Io to be as volcanic as it is. Jupiter's gravitational distortion, heat, and radiation, and then Io's size. These make up why the moon is so volcanic. When dealing with a Planet the size of Mars there are different variables to take into consideration.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2004 #13

    enigma

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    AFAIK, you don't need a volcano... a bunch subterranean vents would do the trick.
     
  15. Apr 6, 2004 #14
    Youngest Lava Flows on Mars Are 20 to 200 Million Years Old

    From;
    http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/creating_methane_life_volcanoes.html
    “Methane -- which can be created naturally by volcanic eruptions or produced by primitive life -- thus may be a missing piece of the puzzle to finding out if organic remnants might once have sustained a primordial Mars. The last period of active volcanism on Mars is well before the last 300 years that methane can survive in the martian atmosphere of today. University of Buffalo volcanologist, Tracy Gregg, told Astrobiology Magazine, "the youngest surficial activity discovered to date (and it's probably 1 million years old, which would be considered quite young, and possibly "active" on Mars) is in a region that contains no large volcanic structures of any kind." Mars' gigantic volcano Mons Olympus was active until 100 million years ago.”

    From;
    http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/template.cfm?name=MarsMons
    “He concludes that the lava could have emerged from Olympus Mons less than 10 million years ago. "The realisation that there has been recent volcanic activity is slowly seeping into the scientific community," says John Bridges, an expert in Martian meteorites at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. Wilson thinks the volcanoes are dormant rather than dead, and that they follow cyclical patterns of activity. The 10 volcanoes on Mars are so large that magma must flow into their chambers extremely quickly- any slower and the molten rock would solidify before the chamber was full. Given the rate that magma is produced within the planet, this could happen only once every 100 million years, Wilson says.
    He estimates that the Martian volcanoes' active periods last just 1 million years, meaning that they spend 99 per cent of their time dormant. That would explain why we have not seen any activity in the past few decades of observing the planet, he says.”

    From;
    http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:....html+Active+Martian+Volcanoes&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
    “Age
    Like the Moon, volcanism on Mars is very old. The mare-like plains on Mars are the same age as the lunar mare, roughly 3 to 3.5 billion years old. However, volcanism lasted much longer on Mars than on the Moon. It also seems to have changed over time. Volcanism in the highland paterae and mare-like plains on Mars stopped 3 billion years ago, but some of the smaller shields and cones erupted only 2 billion years ago. The giant shield volcanoes are even younger. These volcanoes formed between 1 and 2 billion years ago. The youngest lava flows on Olympus Mons are only 20 to 200 million years old. These flows are very small, however, and they probably represent the last gasp of martian volcanism. Thus, the odds of finding an active volcano on Mars today are very small.”

    No wait, I think Olympus Mons just blew it's top!
     
  16. Apr 7, 2004 #15

    Phobos

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    The link enigma provided summarizes it well.

    I think we can all agree that Mars' volcanos are dormant (but not necessarily dead). I don't think anyone here is saying the methane CAN'T have a biological explanation. We're just saying there are other valid explanations and more evidence is needed to confirm a biological one. As evidenced by all the ongoing missions to Mars, the scientific community still thinks it worthwhile to search for present/past life on Mars. The evidence at this time can't support a statement that the methane definitely is from life.
     
  17. Apr 18, 2004 #16
  18. Apr 19, 2004 #17

    russ_watters

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    Sorry, no. I'm a real stickler for credibility.
     
  19. Apr 19, 2004 #18

    Nereid

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    Should one laugh? or cry? I mean, is Hoagland serious, or are these "The Enterprise Mission" webpages some kind of spoof, a rather poor joke??

    I'm going to do a poll on this one!
     
  20. Apr 19, 2004 #19
    No Substance (Just Character Attacks...)

    I'll say it.
    You guys have no substance to anything to do with this subject. I doubt whether you even read the accompanying material. You resort to a character attack on a very misunderstood individual.
    I wonder, have you guys ever presented a theory to the UN?
    Ever won the Angstrom Medal?
    No, you haven't.

    Methane (and life on Mars) is something that is NOT going to go away.
    Do some research into it, instead of seizing on "Hoagland" - what a crackpot!

    Poll away geniuses.
     
  21. Apr 19, 2004 #20

    Nereid

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    Dogon, you are most welcome to give me your opinion on whether it would be educational to take a page or two of Hoagland and study it with care; you will find the thread I started right here in GA&C.

    IIRC, the "Angstrom Medal" which Hoagland 'won' isn't quite what it seems; in fact, I think there's a thread in PF on just this topic.

    And finally, for the record, there is good evidence that there is methane in the atmosphere of Mars, and Hoagland appears to have accurately reported on some of the work, institutions, and researchers.

    There may be life on Mars; if none today, they may have been life on Mars in the past, whether distant or relatively recent. It may be that at least some of the methane in the martian atmosphere is the by-product of chemical processes within martian life-forms. And so on. However, considerably more work needs to be done before any of these statements is supported by good observations.
     
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