NASA Scientists Struggle to Explain Oxygen on Mars

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Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have detected that oxygen levels rise on the red planet but up to 30% during the Martian summer. This fact is very hard to explain geologically and could hint that there may still be life on our distant planetary neighbor.

Methane and oxygen spikes on Mars leave Scientists confused.

According to Melissa Trainer of the Goddard Space Flight Center:

We’re struggling to explain this. The fact that the oxygen behvaior isn’t perfectly repeatable every season makes us think that it’s not an issue that has to do with atmospheric dynamics.  It has to be some chemical source and sink that we can’t yet account for.

Melissa Trainer

Oxygen changes are the recent discovery but scientists have also noticed dramatic changes in methane, which is commonly associated with life. While there are geological causes that can explain Methane release, the patterns on Mars are not easily explained. In fact, methane rises up to 60% during the summer and can spike suddenly.

Methane spikes on this, on Earth, sometimes cause the appearance of “ghost lights” and those have been seen on Mars a few times. Here’s a video showing those events:

What if we already detected life on the red planet?


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