Mars : des traces de méthane pourraient indiquer une forme de vie

28 Juin, 2019, 08:38 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Mars : des dégagements de méthane détectés pourraient indiquer une forme de vie

Des indices d'une possible vie sur Mars?

Cette nouvelle découverte enthousiasme les chercheurs.

Il est facile de se montrer cynique face aux affirmations qu'il y a eu, ou qu'il y a encore, concernant la vie sur Mars, mais une récente découverte devrait intriguer les plus sceptiques: le New York Times dévoile que le rover de la NASA, Curiosity, aurait détecté des quantités étonnantes de méthane sur la planète rouge. Ils ont alors mis dans des bocaux les bactéries avec une solution d'eau salée similaire à celle observée sur la planète rouge. Ces nouveaux résultats pourraient répondre à une question qui divise depuis longtemps la communauté scientifique.

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Ce n'est pas la première fois que des traces de méthane sont découvertes sur la planète Mars. En 2012, Curiosity n'était pas parvenu à détecter de méthane, mais le robot avait enregistré un pic soudain de ce gaz dans l'atmosphère martienne un an plus tard.

Des études plus approfondies en 2020 Bien que les scientifiques puissent confirmer la présence de méthane sur Mars, le plus grand défi reste de trouver un moyen d'étudier ce dernier plus en détail. Le fait qu'il soit présent sur la planète rouge pourrait possiblement témoigner d'une forme de vie sur cette planète, que ce soit actuellement ou autrefois (le gaz a pu être emprisonné et ses traces viennent tout juste d'être libérées). Car sur Terre, c'est un gaz qui est largement émis par des microbes. Or s'il existe de la vie sur Mars, c'est probablement sous la forme de micro-organismes (plutôt que d'humains ou de vaches, autre émettrices de méthane sur Terre). " Bien que l'augmentation des niveaux de méthane mesurée par @MarsCuriosity soit excitante, en tant que possible indicateur de la vie, il est important de garder à l'esprit que c'est un résultat scientifique précoce".

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