Scientists are greatly puzzled by the drastic changes that have recently occurred on Mars. As recent studies have shown, all methane has somehow disappeared in the atmosphere of the Red Planet. What happened there?
Methane is one of the most important indicators of life on our planet, and it was discovered on Mars in 2004 with the help of the American Mars Express probe. For the scientific world it became a big sensation, although not all experts believed in the accuracy of the interplanetary station data.
Ten years later, the Curiosity rover confirmed this hypothesis by fixing a methane surge in Gale Crater, which lasted for several months.
In 2018, the next stage of the study of methane on Mars began. The ESA sent a new vehicle called Trace Gas Orbiter, which scanned the planet’s atmosphere for the presence of this gas. To the surprise of experts, nothing was found, despite the fact that the supersensitive spectrometers Trace Gas Orbiter can catch even the smallest amount of methane.
An important understanding of scientists is that Mars is enriched with methane not from external sources. Gas, if it really is there, is formed somewhere in the depths of the planet. At the same time, it is likely that some living organisms that are not yet discovered by mankind produce methane.
Trace Gas Orbiter will collect data until 2022, on the basis of which scientists will try to solve the mystery of a very strange behavior of methane on the planet Mars.