火星上甲烷深藏的秘密
影像来源与版权:NASA’s GSFC, Scientific Visualization Studio

说明:火星上的甲烷之谜变得更奇怪了。欧洲航天局(ESA)和俄罗斯航天局(Roscosmos)联合的ExoMars微量气体卫星的最新结果是出乎意料地未在火星大气中检测到甲烷。2013年,美国航天局(NASA)的好奇号探测车发现了甲烷,这一结果似乎在第二天被ESA的火星快车号所证实。这个问题之所以如此引人注目,是因为生命是地球上甲烷的主要制造者,这引发了有趣的推测,即某种生命(可能是微生物生命)正在火星表面下方产生甲烷。甲烷的非生物来源也是可能的。这幅影像是2003年从地球上探测到的首次火星甲烷羽流的可视化效果。ExoMars微量气体卫星未探测到甲烷,这可能意味着火星具有某种意想不到的方法或者只有火星的某些部分能够释放甲烷,而且可能只是在特定的时间。随着这个谜团的加深,人类对我们邻近星球大气的探测也将加强。
翻译:北京天文馆

Mars Methane Mystery Deepens
Image Credit & Copyright: NASA’s GSFC, Scientific Visualization Studio

Explanation: The methane mystery on Mars just got stranger. New results from ESA and Roscosmos’ ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, has unexpectedly not detected methane in the atmosphere of Mars. This result follows the 2013 detection of methane by NASA’s Curiosity rover, a result seemingly confirmed by ESA’s orbiting Mars Express the next day. The issue is so interesting because life is a major producer of methane on Earth, leading to intriguing speculation that some sort of life — possibly microbial life — is creating methane beneath the surface of Mars. Non-biological sources of methane are also possible. Pictured is a visualization of the first claimed methane plume over Mars as detected from Earth in 2003. The new non-detection of methane by the ExoMars Orbiter could mean that Mars has some unexpected way of destroying methane, or that only some parts of Mars release methane — and possibly only at certain times. As the mystery has now deepened, humanity’s scrutiny of our neighboring planet’s atmosphere will deepen as well.
Astronomy Picture of the Day 04/22/2019