Methane on Mars

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Federal Farmer, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer I’ve got you.

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  2. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Git

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    Could be a space alien fart.
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  3. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    stole my joke! :shakefist: I was going to say Taco Bell must be there already.
  4. Chad

    Chad Don't believe his lies

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  5. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    It's far from conclusive, there are non-biological processes which create methane. Given life's ability to transform it's environment in radical ways (just look at all the fucking oxygen on Earth), I have to think that if there were life on Mars, it'd be screamingly obvious to us.
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  6. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    disagree! We had primitive life here on earth when oxygen was poison. If oxygen breathing aliens would have came here searching for life during that period (billions of years ago) life would not be screamingly obvious depending on their equipment or their mindset in what constitutes "life". Life could very well be frozen on Mars for the time being, who knows? The freezer in my kitchen seems to not harbor life - depending on how I test for life it very well might not harbor life. But let the power go out for a month, then eat some of the food then tell me how that works out.
  7. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    During the time period of which you speak, however, the waste product of those organisms was oxygen. They literally drowned in their own sewage, and any aliens which send a probe down to the surface of the planet could have detected life.

    There are fundamental rules to life that I doubt if we'll ever find exceptions to:
    1.) Life must be prolific

    and

    2.) Life must be diverse.

    This doesn't mean that any life on Mars would have to resemble what we have on Earth, or need oxygen, but it does mean that life would be plentiful and take on many different forms. Remember, prior to the discovery of the Titanic it was thought that there was nothing living at such depths and that the wreck would look as pristine as the day it hit the bottom. Instead, it turned out that there were a whole host of organisms living down there. Even the most barren places on Earth, like the Atacama Desert, in South America, are teeming with life.

    [​IMG]

    (That's BTW, where NASA goes to practice for Mars missions since it's so close to the conditions found there.)

    If there was life on Mars, it would have evolved to take advantage of the conditions found there and spread prolifically across the planet. Even if it didn't produce or need oxygen, you'd be able to discern its existence quite easily. It might not look like Earthly life, but it also wouldn't leave the planet appearing barren and empty, as it does now. You'd see alterations to rocks which couldn't be explained by the effects of wind and water. In fact, you'd probably see things, unlike anything we'd ever seen on Earth.
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  8. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    I totally get that the Atacama desert is teeming with life in 2018. My point is when life was first getting started on earth about 3.5 billion years ago would an alien expedition have recognized our life? :chris:100 years (obviously a short time on a grand scale) after life first starting on earth would life be "prolific" on every square inch of our planet? If an alien expedition visits earth one billion years from today when all life is 99.99999 percent extinct but some life still exists but they do not detect it, would this mean that the earth has no life? This is my point - life could very well be on Mars in some form but we are missing it because it is very scarce at this point in time.
  9. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Again, if life existed in a prolific manner at some point in Mars' past, we'd still see signs of it today, even if were completely extinct (which seems unlikely).

    And while it's entirely possible for planets to go through "boom and bust" cycles, so far as life goes, any aliens capable of crossing interstellar distances could easily identify if a planet was capable of harboring some form of life. If said life was only inhabiting a very small area of the planet (like a few inches, or whatever), they might never find it, but they'd know that our planet could one day harbor life, even if it's barren now.

    Mars has had the same amount of time to evolve life that the Earth did. However, Mars lacks a number of key features which Earth has, like a strong magnetic field and a large moon. Both of those things are thought to have played a key role in allowing life to form on Earth. Without them it might not been possible for life to develop on Mars, even if the necessary compounds were there.
  10. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Don't you get methane when you combine hydrogen and carbon dioxide? Because I thought this was the basis of Dr. Robert Zubrins on site fuel production for his Mars Direct Mission Plan (Zubrin planned for seven tons of hydrogen being sent ahead to Mars aboard the Earth Return Vehicle).

    Doesn't the presence of methane on Mars rather than life per se more likely indicate the presence of hydrogen in some form there in subsurface water ice or from another source?

    Granted, the presence of water on Mars would be a good condition for some kind of life to have developed there as well. Probably more so than methane
  11. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Hydrogen and carbon dioxide don't readily combine, there needs to be a catalyst of some kind for the reaction to occur.
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  12. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    This article has a good take, I think.

    FB_IMG_1528761584907.jpg
  13. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Shouldn't you explain that this is a parody?
  14. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    One would hope that this would be obvious if they were reading this thread.
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