Methane - Methane Trace amounts of methane (CH4), at the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Methane Trace amounts of methane (CH 4 ), at the level of several nmol/mol (parts per billion, ppb), were first reported in Mars's atmosphere by a team at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2003. [2] [12] In March 2004 the Mars Express Orbiter [13] and ground based observations from Canada- France-Hawaii Telescope [14] also suggested the presence of methane in the atmosphere with a mole fraction of about 10 nmol/mol. [15] Distribution of methane in the atmosphere of Mars during what is summertime in its Northern Hemisphere Because methane on Mars would quickly break down due to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and chemical reactions with other gases, its reported persistent presence in the atmosphere also necessitates the existence of a source to continually replenish the gas. [16] Current photochemical models alone can not explain neither the fast appearance nor the disappearance of the methane, or its reported variations in space and time. [17] It had been proposed that the methane might be replenished by meteorites entering the atmosphere of Mars, but researchers from Imperial College London found that the volumes of methane released this way are too low to sustain the measured levels of the gas. [18] The methane occurs in extended plumes, and their profiles imply that the gas was released from sources in three discrete regions. In northern midsummer, the principal plume contained 19,000 metric tons of methane, with an estimated source strength of 0.6 kilogram per second. [19]
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

Methane - Methane Trace amounts of methane (CH4), at the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online