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Low upper limit to methane abundance on Mars.

Webster, Christopher R and Mahaffy, Paul R and Atreya, Sushil K and Flesch, Gregory J and Farley, Kenneth A and the MSL Science Team and DLR Collaborator, Reitz G (2013) Low upper limit to methane abundance on Mars. Science, 342 (6156), pp. 355-357. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). DOI: 10.1126/science.1242902 ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

By analogy with Earth, methane in the Martian atmosphere is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity. During the past decade, Earth-based telescopic observations reported "plumes" of methane of tens of parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and those from Mars orbit showed localized patches, prompting speculation of sources from subsurface bacteria or nonbiological sources. From in situ measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on Curiosity using a distinctive spectral pattern specific to methane, we report no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18 ± 0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence level), which reduces the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars and limits the recent contribution from extraplanetary and geologic sources.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/87354/
Document Type:Article
Title:Low upper limit to methane abundance on Mars.
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Webster, Christopher RJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Mahaffy, Paul RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Atreya, Sushil KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Flesch, Gregory JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Farley, Kenneth A and the MSL Science TeamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
DLR Collaborator, Reitz GRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2013
Journal or Publication Title:Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:342
DOI :10.1126/science.1242902
Page Range:pp. 355-357
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
ISSN:0036-8075
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, MSL, Curiosity rover, methane abundance on Mars
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben MSL-Radiation
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:23 Jan 2014 10:01
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:51

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