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Researchers Are Looking For Sources Of Oxygen On Mars

This year has been the most productive one for NASA as multiple data and objects were captured using new or older rovers. NASA’s Curiosity rover has been found to provide some really interesting facts to the researchers on Earth. The data showed an elevation in the methane levels that are very difficult to explicate. Various studies have been carried out to explain the fluctuating levels of methane but the scientists have not been able to give any valid reason. As methane has become a hot topic of the town, the researchers have started looking at the behavior of the gas present on Mars.

The researchers have also found the oxygen levels on the Red Planet to vary compared to that on Earth. Curiosity made few of the observations in the Gale Crater. The rover has been studying Mars since 2012. Curiosity studies and analyzes the levels of the various types of gasses present on Mars. On Earth, with changing seasons, certain gasses are found to fall and rise. And the researchers predict the same would be happening on Mars as well. Mars is found to be abundant with carbon dioxide (CO2), which is around 95%. The rover is found to be breathing CO2 almost 24×7. The rest 5% is found to be mixed with carbon monoxide, nitrogen, argon, and oxygen. During the full Martian year, the levels of the gasses, especially oxygen, are found to vary in comparison to the other gasses. The researchers found nitrogen and argon to vary depending on the unpredictable seasonal variations relative to CO2 in the air. In case of oxygen, it was found to rise during summer & spring and drop during fall. The variation in the oxygen levels is unexplainable as it does not repeat every season and thus, rules out atmospheric dynamic’s effect and finds chemical source accountable.

Just like the oxygen levels on Mars, researchers are looking for microfossils on the Red Planet’s surface. On Earth, ample minerals are found to help preserve microfossils, whereas on Mars, hydrated silica is the mineral spotted by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The researchers have found delta, which are signs of life, in Jezero crater. A bathtub ring of carbonates was also found in the crater. Thus, the study on microfossils on Mars is just having more data being added by the rover and its supporting equipment.

Andrea Noriega
Staff Writer At Times of Market

Andrea is the Head of Science Department of Times Of Market. He is connected with our news portal from the last 2 years and has completed a Degree in Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics. As the HOD, she performs all the executive activities skillfully. Moreover, her talent of handling any decisive situation smartly along with an obliging nature has turned her into the most prominent personality at Times Of Market’s editorial team. She is actively involved in the writing field from the last 7 years. Andrea is also a skilled trainer who carries out numerous training sessions on sundry topics to make her team aware of the latest trends in the sector.

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