Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Weird: Life On Mars?

Space: The final frontier and all that junk.

Dammit. I shouldn't have written that. Now I'm going to have the entire monologue and the theme song to the beginning of Star Trek in my head.

So today we're hightailing it back out to space. Because, folks, space has some weird ass stuff out there. Weeeeiiiird stuff we're talking about.

BUT! Today, we're going to stick close to home and talk about our favorite celestial neighbor, Mars!

Awww! So cute!

OT for a second. Remember this movie?

Jim Carey, Damon Wayans and Jeff Goldblum
I don't really have anything to say about it. Just all this talk about Mars made me think of Earth Girls are Easy and then I'm both delighted and flummoxed that something like this happened.

Anyway. Let's get our asses back to Mars. (Super Bonus Nerd Points if you can identify the source of that slightly bastardized quote!)

Scientists have discovered large quantities of methane in Mars's atmosphere. Why is this weird, you ask? Because the ultraviolet in sunlight does a really good job of breaking down methane. So, technically, Mars shouldn't have any methane.

Which means, that something on Mars is producing the methane.

Geological events can sometimes produce methane, but there's no evidence of any happening on Mars recently.

So you know what else produces methane? Life.

There's also a possibility that maybe some unknown geological event produced the methane, but in order for that to happen it would require liquid water flows and lava.

So even if life didn't cause the methane, it would mean that Mars has liquid water. Or maybe both!!

Yeah. Think about that for a bit.

We love you Mars!

(Fun fact: I typed "methane" wrong almost every time I wrote it in this post. I kept missing the last "e". Also I had to type it 4 times in this fun fact before I finally got it right. Skilz: I haz them.)


Maria Zannini said...

Methane can be produced by both biological and geologic means. And if I'm not mistaken also by meteorites.

What I found more eerie was the recent news of carbon dioxide snow falling on Mars.

Heck, if we can create an ozone layer for Mars, we could make it habitable. First we have to stop destroying our ozone layer before we become the second Mars.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think it would be great if we discovered life on Mars.
And - Total Recall.

Rena said...

@ Maria, actually the CO2 falling as snow on Mars isn't really news, it's just awesome that they finally saw it. Mars scientists (see, I didn't call them martian scientist) have predicted that dry ice is their snow for many years, but just didn't have any observations of it.

And if you want to talk about planets with crazy snow, look up Venus! there are reports of a highly reflective snow in the higher altitudes. Highly reflective for the scanners they have on Venus means metal. It snows freakin tantalum on Venus. How crazy is that?

Anne Gallagher said...

I keep hoping life forms will appear on Mars and chuck the bird. Wouldn't that be cool to see on the evening news. "Look, we found life on Mars and this is what it said!"

LD Masterson said...

Mars has cows! (Don't cows produce methane?)

Anonymous said...

Um, of course there's Life on Mars. There's a David Bowie song and two TV shows about it.

Jamie Gibbs said...

There are a lot of flatulent space cows on Mars, it seems :)

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts!

Ellie Garratt said...

Knew Alex would get the quote!

Personally I think there is life on Mars. It's just a case of when we find it.

Loved this post. Made me smile!

Teebore said...

I recently read an article about the landing of Curiousity on Mars and how the camera managed to pick up shots of what appeared to be an explosion in the distance shortly after it landed.

The official explanation is that the camera managed to pick up the crash of the rocket Curiosity used to get to Mars, but apparently the odds of the camera being in position to see that (based on the position Curiosity landed in and the timing involved) are, ahem, astronomical.

Now I'm going to have the entire monologue and the theme song to the beginning of Star Trek in my head.

Original, or Next Gen?

Let's get our asses back to Mars.

Two weeks...Two weeks...

Also, three boobs.

Joan Crawford said...

I kinda like the sound of methan, it has a nice ring to it:

"If but for all this ME-THAN, I could live!" *dies of methan poisoning*

Q: How do you like your women?

A: Sleazy.

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