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Gases Created When Meteors Slam into Planets May Provide False-Positives of Life ^ | Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Charles Q. Choi

Posted on 09/25/2012 6:43:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Ground-based observatories and proposed-but-cancelled spacecraft such as the European Space Agency's Darwin project or NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder could scan the atmospheres of exoplanets for signs of extraterrestrial life. Molecules each absorb specific types of light, resulting in patterns known as spectra that allow scientists to identify what the molecules are. Some chemicals or combinations of chemicals might be unique to life as we know it, and could thus serve as strong evidence of aliens.

One key gas astrobiologists looking for extraterrestrial life would concentrate on would be oxygen, since researchers often think this molecule is too chemically reactive to remain for long in the atmosphere of a rocky planet like Earth without organisms to continuously produce it. Another possibility would be methane, a colorless, odorless, flammable organic gas that microbes on Earth produce. Seeing both together in an exoplanet's atmosphere might be an especially significant sign of life, since they would both ordinarily remove each other from the atmosphere without something like life to constantly replenish them.

For more than 40 years, hints of methane have been seen on Mars, the first organic compound seen there. In the last decade, researchers have even suggested they have seen methane clouds that may have been forming over the red planet during the summer months in the last decade, raising the possibility of past or even extant organisms just below the surface, although these findings remain hotly contested.

Although life or the byproducts of life are responsible for nearly all the methane found in Earth's atmosphere, it is not the only source of the gas. For instance, volcanism can produce methane, as can chemical reactions between water, carbon dioxide and minerals.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: chondrites; mars; methane; thomasgold; xplanets

There were two versions of the same story, same author, everything, but the headline in this one included "created", so I picked this one, hoping some of the self-identifying local trolls will see it and stroke out. If they do, good riddance.
Carbonaceous chondrites are thought to be a potential source of early Earth's volatile elements -- including hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon -- and possibly organic material. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith

Gases created when meteors slam into planets may provide false-positives of life

1 posted on 09/25/2012 6:43:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...

Before the local BS committee storms in and sez otherwise, the book "Rare Earth" is a fetid, smoking pile of uniformitarian garbage.
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Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

2 posted on 09/25/2012 6:46:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: SunkenCiv
Are there enough meteors hitting Mars to get the observable Methane?

I'm still leaning toward microbial life, created by God, billions of years ago.


3 posted on 09/25/2012 6:55:19 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Heads —

[Thomas] Gold describes why life on Mars probably existed and may still exist

4 posted on 09/25/2012 6:56:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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Tails —

Methane On Mars Is Not an Indication of Life:
UV Radiation Releases Methane from Organic Materials from Meteorites
ScienceDaily (May 31, 2012)
Story Source: from materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Journal Reference: Frank Keppler, Ivan Vigano, Andy McLeod, Ulrich Ott, Marion Früchtl, Thomas Röckmann. Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11203

5 posted on 09/25/2012 6:58:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: SunkenCiv
While you guys dwell on the big picture I'm busy redating all the Spanish townsites I've found East of the Mississippi to sometime around 1550 - 60 AD ~ the reason being the occurrence of a megadrought in that period that literally drove EVERYBODY above the fall line in the East, and above the falls and major rapids on the Mississippi and its tributaries.

We just had a taste of a North American megadrought, and already the deaths from hantavirus are underway ~ and black plague ~ and some other strange stuff, and a SARS like virus just popped up in Saudi (which had a drier than normal year) and is killing people.

This thing lasted between 70 and 80 years, with a core period of 17 years where NO RAIN seems to have fallen in Virginia.

They came, they started settlement ~ bringing in horses, pigs, chickens, wheat, barley, oats, other old world crops and animals and BINGO they were suddenly gone.

Earth is large enough it can constantly replenish burned over lands no matter what happens ~ that's probably a unit in the design module for successful life on the surface ~ and at this moment I doubt anyone has figured that one out due to the complexity.

6 posted on 09/25/2012 7:13:02 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Thanks m, I must have missed your post the first time through.

7 posted on 10/27/2012 2:29:16 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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