The study of the surface of Mars began in the 60s of the last century, and scientists later set out to find traces of life on the Red Planet. Most of the conjectures until recently were presented by conspiracy theories - but judging by the new NASA report, the researchers had a much more realistic clue.
According to the aerospace Agency NASA, the Rover Curiosity was able to register an "unexpectedly high" level of methane in the Martian atmosphere: about 21 parts per billion units in volume. The concentration of gas was three times higher than with similar measurements made in 2013 — given that in terrestrial conditions it is released mainly by living organisms, scientists do not exclude the presence of microbial life under the surface of the red planet. However, this theory still needs to be confirmed — according to the researchers, the source of "leakage" can be geological processes, including those that occurred in the distant past.
"According to the current measurements, we can not confirm the biological or geological nature of methane, and even say it is an ancient gas or modern," — said the chief researcher of the program Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Paul Mahaffi.
Given that the gas decays relatively quickly under the influence of sunlight and during chemical reactions, scientists believe that Mars could be favorable conditions for life during his "youth" about 4 billion years ago. According to one theory, microorganisms could migrate into the bowels of the planet after it lost most of its atmosphere. It is expected that more accurately determine the "methane cycle" of Mars will help new Mars Rovers NASA and the European space Agency, which will fly to Mars in 2020.