Archive for setembro 20th, 2013

Metano e a Origem da Vida volta ao Noticiário: Curiosity não o encontra em Marte.

sexta-feira, setembro 20th, 2013

Curiosity rover’s methane result challenges life theory

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24165219

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RELEASE 13-288

NASA Curiosity Rover Detects No Methane on Mars

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/september/nasa-curiosity-rover-detects-no-methane-on-mars/#.Ujuissako3U

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/science/space/mars-rover-comes-up-empty-in-search-for-methane.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The Curiosity rover’s failure to detect methane on Mars is a blow to theories that the planet may still host some types of life, say mission scientists.

Telescopes and satellites have reported seeing small but significant volumes of the gas, but the six-wheeled robot can pick up no such trace.

On Earth, 95% of atmospheric methane is produced by microbial organisms.

Researchers have hung on to the hope that the molecule’s signature at Mars might also indicate a life presence.

The inability of Curiosity’s sophisticated instrumentation to make this detection is likely now to dent this optimism.

“Based on previous measurements, we were expecting to go there and find 10 parts per billion (ppbv) or more, and we were excited about finding it. So when you go to search for something and you don’t find it, there’s a sense of disappointment,” said Dr Chris Webster, the principal investigator on Curiosity’s Tuneable Laser Spectrometer (TLS).

The Nasa rover’s search is reported online in a paper published by Science Magazine.

Curiosity has been sucking in Martian air and scanning its components since shortly after landing in August 2012.

From these tests, it has not been possible to discern any methane to within the present limits of the TLS’s sensitivity.

This means that if the gas is there, it can constitute no more than 1.3ppbv of the atmosphere – equivalent to just over 10,000 tonnes of the gas.

This upper limit is about six times lower than the previous estimates of what should be present, based on the satellite and telescope observations.

Deep down

The number of 1.3ppbv is very low, and will put a question mark against the robustness of those earlier measurements.

The fact that Curiosity is working at ground level and in one location should not matter, as the Martian atmosphere is known to mix well over the course of half a year.

Methane at Mars could have a number of possible sources, of course – not just microbial activity.

It could be delivered by comets or asteroids, or produced internally by geological processes.

Methane mapTelescopes have reported relatively strong signals (red = 10ppbv) in the past

But it is the link to life that has most intrigued planetary scientists.

Earth’s atmosphere contains billions of tonnes of methane, the vast majority of it coming from microbes, such as the bacteria found in the digestive tracts of animals.

The speculation has been that some methane-producing bugs, or methanogens, could perhaps exist on Mars if they lived underground, away from the planet’s harsh surface conditions.

This theory was bolstered by the previous observations making their detections in spring-time. It was suggested that the seasonal rise in temperatures was melting surface ices and allowing trapped methane to rise into the atmosphere in plumes.

But in Dr Webster’s view, Curiosity’s inability to detect appreciable amounts of methane now makes this scenario much less likely.

“This observation doesn’t rule out the possibility of current microbial activity, [but] it lowers the probability certainly that methanogens are the source of that activity,” he told the BBC’s Science In Action Programme.

Or as team-member Prof Sushil Atreya, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, put it: “There could still be other types of microbes on Mars. This just makes it harder for there to be microbes that kick out methane.”

‘Evolving story’

Dr Geronimo Villanueva is affiliated to the Catholic University of America and is based at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

He studies the Martian atmosphere using telescopes here on Earth. He cautioned that additional, much more precise measurements were needed from the rover before firm conclusions could be drawn.

“This is an evolving story as we get more numbers,” he told BBC News.

“If Curiosity’s statistics hold, it’s important because it sets a new bound. Methane should last a long time in the atmosphere and the fact that the rover doesn’t see it puts a big constraint on possible releases. But I would like to see more and better Curiosity results, and more orbiter results as well.”

ESAEsa’s Trace Gas Orbiter: New satellite missions will also make measurments

Dr Olivier Witasse is the project scientist on the European Space Agency’s (Esa) Mars Express satellite, which made the very first claimed methane detection back in 2003.

He also said much more data was required.

“There is some indication from the Mars Express data – and it has not been published yet because it’s a very complicated measurement – that the methane might peak at a certain altitude, at 25-40km. The Curiosity results are interesting but they have not yet settled the issue.”

Esa has its ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter launching in 2016, which will be able to make further methane searchers. And the Indian space agency (Isro) is due to despatch its Mangalyaan probe to the Red Planet later this year. This, too, has methane detection high on its list of objectives.

Curiosity itself will work to improve its readings, and will shortly deploy an “enrichment” process that will amplify any methane signal that might be present.

“We can lower that upper limit down to tens of parts per trillion, maybe 50 parts per trillion,” said Dr Webster.

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Grande Comentario no New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/science/space/mars-rover-comes-up-empty-in-search-for-methane.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • Ahmet Erdem
  • Istanbul

Well, you’re probably never going to find life if you begin from the point of “if it’s not compatible with what I say about what is needed for life to begin and sustain itself, then it isn’t life.” and how do we know we can detect the vibratory frequencies of all life?

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Pesquisa:

Observar que methano é CH4, ou seja, o Carbono obtem 4 pontes de hidrogenio, iniciando a captura dos outros atomos que começariam os aminoacidos.

Possivel tese: o mecanismo ancestral da respiracao na materia inorganica?

Any expert in Chemistry or Astronomer here? I am layman, but, trying to uderstanding this news. Methane is crucial for aminoacids; methane was found in comets…. is it right? Based in Matrix/DNA Theory, methanol (CH3OH) brings on it its sentence of death, the killer oxygen. If there are clouds of methane, it means that its building blocks are constantly dying but must have a source constantly supring new ones. Then, must have a molecule, CH4, (methane) which absorbs O and becomes methanol. O makes the new molecule surviving with short life and it is dissolved, maybe returning to be CH4. This mutations of CH4 into methanol and methanol back to CH4, due Oxigen, seems to be a primordial mechanism of respiration.

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Wikipedia: Methanogenesis and extra-terrestrial life

The presence of atmospheric methane has a role in the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life.[12] The argument being that methane in the atmosphere will eventually dissipate, unless something is replenishing it. This can be detected (by using a spectrometer for example) then that means there is, or relatively recently was, life present. This was debated[13] when methane was discovered in the Martian atmosphere by M.J. Mumma of NASA’s Goddard Flight Center, and verified by the Mars Express Orbiter (2004)[14] and in Titan‘s atmosphere by the Huygens probe (2005).[15] It is also argued that atmospheric methane can come from volcanoes or other fissures in the planet’s crust and that without an Isotopic signature it is difficult to say what exactly was the origin.

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My people! You are so away off the beam! In this way, living alien creatures will walk under yours noses and you will not see them. Methane, CH4 is related to biological systems, not “life”. Biological system is a working system not too much different from a galactic working system. Of course!… galaxies created biological systems. Who else? All properties of life are seen as hidden processes of those building blocks of astronomical systems. So, what’s life? The forward step of cosmological evolution at Earth surface? The offspring of Milk Way, as eggs spread in the space? But, who said that the diversification of species from galaxies  does not exist? Who said that any system evolved from a galactic system must be Carbon based? The periodical table shows that every seven elements, the next one repeats all properties of the first. Then, if Carbon is number 6, the element number 13, Al, has same properties. Methane is a precursor of biological systems because the Carbon atom gets 4 hydrogen bridges for capturing the atoms for forming aminoacids. The proof is that methanol, a derivative, found in comets, can produce aminoacids. So, at different environment, in another planet, there is Al and not Carbon, as the base for a working system that is the next evolutionary step. System based in Al that can evolves, till reaching intelligence. Are they alive? If you call those properties expressed by astronomical system as precursor of life, them the aliens based in aluminium atoms are alive. But if there are 200 chemical elements, we do the calculus (200 by 7 = 28…) must have 28 different natural systems evolved directly from galaxies, which has nothing to see with biological systems. In Matrix/DNA Theory we have the formula Nature used for creating galaxies, those Last Universal Common Ancestor for those 28 different species of natural systems. If Curyosity and everybody else going fairway searching for “life” does not know that template, they will see a “living” being and will think that it is a rock!

Muito longo. Tive que resumir o post no seguinte modo:

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Thank you for your submission. We’ll notify you at au***@hotmail.com when your comment has been approved.

My people! You are so away off the beam! In this way, living alien creatures will walk under yours noses and you will not see them. Methane, CH4 is related to Carbon based natural systems evolved from building blocks of astronomical systems. Carbon based systems are called “biological systems”. But… who said that diversification of species exists only here, and not at the offspring of this Milk Way?! The periodic table shows that the properties of an element repeats at every group of seven elements. Then, Carbon, number 6, has properties repeated by Al, 13 ( if I remember it right). Methane is CH4, what means that C gets 4 bridges for capturing atoms and forming aminoacids. Why not aluminium do the same? Impossible you will say, because can not exists a living being Al based. Who said living being? We are looking for natural systems evolved from astronomical systems that can evolve getting complexity, still getting intelligence. In Matrix/DNA Theory we have the template for astronomical building blocks, and, if Curiosity or someone else does not know the template… will not grasp what we are looking for.

  • Frank De Canio
  • Union City, NJ

The problem with such explorations is that we are using a human perceptual apparatus to discover a form of life that may be totally different than our expectations. For all we know Martians may have explored planet Earth and found no form of life on it if they were looking through different forms of perception. The color blind do not see colors, and other forms of perception see a flat field with no depth. Maybe we see no life because we’re looking with preconceived notions? Or maybe as the article suggests life on earth ultimately began on Mars and we’re the colonized planet and Martians the colonizers. Hamlet says in Shakespeare’s eponymous play: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” But then Hamlet had more pressing concerns than seeking life on Mars.

  1. I have to agree with you and Hamlet, after making an exercise: comparative anatomy between living and non-living systems, trying to calculate the face of a possible missing evolutionary link. I got a surprising picture: an astronomical system working under Newtonian mechanics but showing a cover of biological process! Is it possible?! Where is hidden this mysterious system, the real creator of life at Earth? It happens that the system is formed by our planet “if” astronomical systems changes their shapes obeying to a life’s cycle process. Like our own body change shapes from blastulae to fetus to adult, etc., astronomical bodies changes from babies to planets to pulsars, to stars. etc. But, the current official cosmological model is sure that these bodies are formed by spontaneous generation, I must be wrong. Ok, ancient people also believed in spontaneous generation and the current official model can not be the creator of life. My model, yes, everything for building life is there. Let’s go testing the models, time will be the judge.

    • blackmamba
    • IL

    We are searching for evidence of life as we know it. And that definition has been expanding over the years. From deep water thermal vents to toxic springs and dark deep radioactive rocks life is quite varied and resilient. And the fossil record and drifting continents show an ever changing and dynamic planet. Most things that have ever lived are extinct.

    Is exobiology a science? When there is no subject? No facts? No evidence? Or is it theology and mythology?Is there any evidence of intelligent life on Earth worthy of an alien ET stopping by to communicate and visit with us? Are we that intelligent life? Are we life as they know it?

    Thank you for your submission. We’ll notify you at au***@hotmail.com when your comment has been approved.

    1. Our intelligence is a property of our “consciousness” which is a new emerging natural system and still is a kind of fetus or embryo inside an egg called “head” that neither opened its own eyes for to see the shape of its own body and substance. Our conscious system appeared here yesterday, in relation to cosmological time. But in this 15.000 years of cultural existence we learned that for survival we must believe there is a long universal chain of causes and effects where no supernatural forces or magics were seen. Then, based in this experience and lesson, we created the scientific method, which drove us to learn a longer period of these chain than our own existence, we reaches 3 or 4, till 13,7 billions years of this chain. Now we know that this astronomical system can creates at least 27 different shapes of systems, others than the bioligical system created here, We have the initial formula that Milk Way are using for creating new systems, which can evolves till getting intelligence. They can be not carbon based, but aluminium based, etc. If one of them, stranger that could be, walking at our eyes, we will know that they are not alive like us, but they are our brothers, coming from the same astronomical mother – the Milk Way. It is weird, but, if have bacteria in Mars, they are our brothers,,,

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      Life on Mars: Down but not out says Mars Society founder

      http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57603966-76/life-on-mars-down-but-not-out-says-mars-society-founder/?refresh=1380013896492

      by  – 

      Meus comentarios postados na CNET :

      The non-existence of methane does not indicates that Mars don’t have what we need looking for. We must don’t search for “life” only, but for any kind of natural system different from those that we know: atom, stellar, galactic and biological systems. If we find a system more complex than the last evolved non-biological system ( the galactic system, I think) it will be better, but, it don’t need be a biological system, which we call “life”. The galactic system is the creator of biological systems here, at Earth, but at other planet with different conditions and materials, this galaxy could create other kind of systems, which, maybe could evolve till getting intelligence, or consciousness. The Matrix/DNA Theory suggests a model of the building block of primordial galaxies, it explains how the building block becomes a base-pair of nucleotides and evolves into DNA, but it make it here due the existence and abundance of Carbon. It happens that at the periodic table we cn see that at every seven species of atoms, the next one repeats the properties of the first. Then, we have about 28 atoms that can be used buy this galaxy for developing systems more complex than itself. Methane is the initial phase because a Carbon atom is connected to 3 hydrogen atoms which works as bridges for capturing other kind of atoms and beginning construction of amino acids. But there are other 27 kinds of atoms that can do the same, it there is no easy use of carbon at a given planet. Then, carbon methane is not the unique resource for having what we are looking for.

      marcusmh777

      There is no carbon based life on Mars… except for the microbes we sent there… and those microbes have died.

      No methane, no life.   It IS that simple.

      Now, let us make one more hard stipulation… if we found methane that WOULD NOT prove that life exists now, nor ever existed.  But,  when we find NO methane we are 100% sure there is no life, nor was there any life, on Mars. End of story.

      This is not about probabilities, wishful thinking, or religion; its hard cold science. We didn’t find methane, QED, there is no life.

      Zubrin’s suggestion that we need humans there (along side our already perfectly working probe droids) to make real progress is asinine.  Its over folks.  Curiosity has been sucking down several tons of gas for a period of over a year and its instruments have not found even  trace methane. That’s the end of the science on this thing folks. There is absolutely no good reason to send human beings to the red planet; ever.

      …  particularly when we have people on good ‘ol planet earth who do not have clean drinking water nor enough to eat.   Let’s get real here…

      LouisMorelli

      Reply to  @marcusmh777 –  I will show to you how the Milk Way is “alive” and Science can’t grasp it. With six balls in the space more one vortex, we can have a process of sexual reproduction. Or any kind of metabolism seen at human body. These six balls and vortex are just the seven different kinds of bodies that composes the Milk Way. More: with six balls and a vortex we can make a working base-pair of nucleotides, the fundamental unit of information of DNA. If you want see it you must go to the models and pictures at the Universal Matrix/DNA website ( I am not making propaganda but I can’t bring the images here). We need understand that “life” is a wrong word, a wrong concept. Everything that we call life made by biological systems, electromagnetic and mechanical systems can do it also. Science can not see these properties at those natural systems because we are using the reductionist method yet. Science can see the entire process of sexual reproduction at human beings! It needs breaking the process into parts. We are finding these processes at those systems because we are using and developing the scientific systemic method, and the scholar science is a century behind us when the issue is “natural systems”. We are not searching for life, we are searching for complex systems that can evolve till getting intelligence and consciousness, system that can be built with iron, gold, or whatever….