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back to article Martian atmosphere pristine, totally free of fart gas, reports Curiosity

Mars rover Curiosity has taken a whiff of the wind at Rocknest in the Gale Crater - but the Red Planet hasn't been passing the gas the nuclear-powered tank is looking for. Jersey cow A common or garden Earth-based methane-producing machine The rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments have been sniffing for methane …

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Paris Hilton

Is there something in the coffee?

How the hell do they manage to be excited searching for something?

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Re: Is there something in the coffee?

Because it is an indicator there might be alien life there. Isn't that exciting?

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Re: Is there something in the coffee?

in the coffee? admittedly no-one has checked the coffee, but I find it unlikely

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Re: Is there something in the coffee?

Some people enjoy life. You should try it one day before you die.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How the hell do they manage to be excited searching for something?

Because they're searching on *Mars* using *nuclear-powered* & *laser-armed* space tank.

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Happy

Re: Is there something in the coffee?

Leave the cup for a few days and see :-)

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Unhappy

Re: Is there something in the coffee?

Life on Mars?

Well, possibly.

Life in the coffee we get?

Not a bats chance in hell!

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Joke

Re: Is there something in the coffee?

Life on Mars?

Well, possibly.

There maybe some life on Mars but not before 8PM on a Saturday night and even then it's BYOB, however I have heard that the place is lacking any sort of atmosphere.

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Alien

@ Norman Hartnell

I have to agree with Destroy All Monsters, searching for fart gas is not exciting. Driving a speedboat off the barn roof, now that's Exciting!

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Re: @ Norman Hartnell

"Driving a speedboat off the barn roof"

Youtube link, or it didn't happen!

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Re: @ Norman Hartnell

Camera broke in the crash....

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So...

What components did Curiosity find in the atmosphere? Kinda missing out on the fact that this measurements also showed that the Martian atmosphere is approx. 95% carbon dioxide. Sure; we already "knew" (assumed" is a better term IMO) but now we're sure.

I'm also missing mentioning of the fact that boffins have compared the analysis results with measurements made on meteorites which contained "air bubbles". The current findings confirmed that those rocks were indeed from Mars as people have assumed so far.

Still, I think this is a really impressive achievement. Esp. the fact that they setup Curiosity so that it can measure so many things using the same hardware.

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Meh

I think some people

- not least the author - or whoever thought a picture of a cow was appropriate - - are confusing the meaning of 'precursor' with 'indicator'...

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Re: I think some people

But it is a particularly fine looking cow though, isn't it?

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Pint

Re: I think some people

Elephants are much more productive though. Fart power to move a small car some 50 miles a day according to some TV program.

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Childcatcher

Re: Fine looking cow

On the contrary, I find something decidedly machiavellian about that derisory raised eyebrow expression.

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Coat

Re: Fine looking cow

Macowvellian, surely?

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Alien

The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

The presence of methane is surely dependant upon the emissions of carbon-based life forms (and I dont wish to sound like Douglas Adams at this point), so is there any cosmic law that says life HAS to be carbon-based and not, for example, silicon?

I am neither a chemist or a physicist so I would welcome being enlightened on this.

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Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

Life as we know it would be carbon based, although some theories suggest Silicon as an alternative, this would seem unlikely as Silicon is significantly larger and therefore unlikely to form the same level of strands (i.e DNA).

If we assume carbon based lifeforms but different methods of chemical processes then we still end up producing methane, this is because methane is the most basic compound of carbon, and would be expected to be produced as a biproduct of any process (either direct, as in breathing, or indirect as in decaying of organisms).

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Facepalm

Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

To make the same point, again, the methane is assumed to have got there first.

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Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

Not sure if missing the irony or something but Uranus (with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C) seems to me proof enough you don't necessarily need life to get methane. From the arguments given though it sounds like if life is around you will get methane.

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Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

Well, if Uranus is anything like mine, then we're talking about copious quantities of methane that are definitely associated with primitive life, regardless off ambient temperature.

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Facepalm

Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........

Should have used Neptune instead as I knew the Klingons near Uranus joke was a coming.

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Who let one?

Yeah, ok, just blame it on the cow.

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Yeah, ok, blame it on the cow.

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Devil

My life now has a purpose!

That's it! My life's goal is now to be listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the First Man to Fart on Mars! Who do you think kids of the future will remember longer, Usain Bolt or The First Man To Fart On Mars?

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Coat

Re: My life now has a purpose!

As to who the kids of the future will remember, was Neil Armstrong the first man to fart on the moon, or was it "Buzz" Aldrin - thus earning the latter his nickname?

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Humans fart hydrogen.

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Actually

Humans fart all sorts of nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Possibly borked?

The methane detector gave a zero result for methane. Two possibilities:

1. There's no methane to be found.

2. The methane detector isn't working.

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