Scientists have extracted Methane gas from a Martian rock and claim that the gas could be a source of food for life on the planet.
Methane gas existing on Mars could point out the fact that life on the planet does exist. Organisms living below the surface give out Methane gas. Plumes of methane have been detected in Mars’s atmosphere, but that is not proof enough. Even though Mars is not volcanic, other geological processes could be at work.
The research was led by Aberdeen University in collaboration with the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Glasgow University and two Canadian institutions: Brock University and the University of Western Ontario. They crushed small rocks which were believed to have landed on Earth from Mars.
These rocks were precious and small. The scientists crushed the rocks and obtained a strong presence of Methane in them. Professor John Parnell claimed that the discovery was crucial and effective.
This is significant because if simple life did exist below the surface, then it could use methane as a food source, in much the same way as microbes do in a range of environments on earth,” he said.
“So while we cannot say that this discovery is proof of the existence of life on Mars, it gives strong encouragement to continue looking for methane sources that could support life.”
The discovery could point out that life on other rocky planets also exist.
Professor Parnell said: “Methane is a starting point for complex organic molecules.
“Our work implies that on many other rocky volcanic planets, in our galaxy and others, there may be methane, which could contribute to the building blocks of life.”