Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Atreya Discusses Mars Methane in Nautilus Magazine Feature

Posted: December 10, 2016

Professor Atreya Discusses Mars Methane in Nautilus Magazine Feature The Arabia Terra region was the site of methane detected by the Mars Express spacecraft in 2004. Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Climate & Space professor Sushil Atreya is co-author, along with Christopher R. Webster, director of the Microdevices Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, of a new article in Nautilus magazine‚Äč that discusses the significance of the presence of methane found on the planet Mars.  

From the article: 

"If you dropped a molecule of methane into the atmosphere of Mars, it would survive about 300 years—that’s how long, on average, it would take for solar ultraviolet radiation and other Martian gases to destroy the molecule. By rights, the Martian atmosphere should have been scrubbed of its methane eons ago. So, the methane we see must come either from a source that is producing methane today or from a subsurface reservoir that is venting methane produced sometime in the past."

Read the complete article here.  

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