Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Mars Has Too Little Methane to Support Life, Study Finds

Methane, which results from the decay of organic matter, wasn’t detected on Mars, suggesting the planet probably doesn’t support living microbes, according to new readings from the Curiosity rover.

The craft has identified no methane on its sensors, and the greatest amount of the gas that may exist in the atmosphere is about 1.3 parts per billion, about six times lower than previous estimates made by earth-bound telescopes and orbiting satellites, according to a paper released today in the journal Science.