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Monday, June 6, 2005



Methane from Rocks

In this false color picture, purple represents Olivine
In this false color picture, purple represents Olivine
Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU
Ever since the announcement that methane exists on Mars (archive), many have speculated that life must exist too. But a team of geologists from Dartmouth College has calculated that under certain conditions (which can exist beneath the surface) a mineral called Olivine (with water and Carbon Dioxide) can be converted into methane and serpentine. The researchers have calculated that it would require a 50cm think layer of Olivine a few km beneath the surface all over the planet to account for the methane and the length of time it's been there. An answer to where the methane is most likely from could come from future missions or the discovery of serpentine by the MER's.

(More info: News@Nature.com)


- posted by Jim @ 13:17 EST