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Background levels of methane in Mars' atmosphere show strong seasonal variations
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3448-9783
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, Granada.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6479-2236
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Centro de Astrobiologia, Instituto National de Tecnica Aerospacial, Madrid.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4492-9650
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.
Number of Authors: 442018 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 360, no 6393, p. 1093-1096Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Variable levels of methane in the martian atmosphere have eluded explanation partly because the measurements are not repeatable in time or location. We report in situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover. The background levels of methane have a mean value 0.41 ± 0.16 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) (95% confidence interval) and exhibit a strong, repeatable seasonal variation (0.24 to 0.65 ppbv). This variation is greater than that predicted from either ultraviolet degradation of impact-delivered organics on the surface or from the annual surface pressure cycle. The large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes (~7 ppbv) are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 360, no 6393, p. 1093-1096
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
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URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69292DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0131ISI: 000434635500039PubMedID: 29880682Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048593070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69292DiVA, id: diva2:1216050
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-11 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-06-11 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Martin-Torres, JavierZorzano, María-Paz

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