After the first mentions possible signs of biological activity on the red planet, NASA announced a new discovery of Curiosity Rover. This time the Rover was able to detect another chemical element necessary to sustain life – the seasonal oxygen content in the Martian atmosphere even exceeded the earth’s limits.
Scientists have long known that the atmosphere of Mars consists of approximately 95% carbon dioxide, 2.6% nitrogen, 1.9% argon, 0,06% of carbon monoxide and only 0.16% of oxygen. However, the content of the latter, according to transcripts of the reports of the Mars Curiosity Rover, periodically increases to 30%. For comparison, the earth’s average of 20.94%. Although such a change in the proportions of gases predicted by scientists before, as sharp “jumps” not match accepted scientific models.
Like Earth, Mars is subject to seasonal climate changes. In winter, carbon dioxide freezes at the poles to the snow conditions by lowering the atmospheric pressure, and in the summer gas evaporates again. Although scientists had previously predicted fluctuations in the proportions of gases in the local “air” calculations proved correct only for nitrogen and argon. It is noteworthy that changes the proportions of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere coincide with the change in the level of methane, both these phenomena could be connected.
Presumably the source of both gases can be biological activity. Still not found convincing evidence of the presence of life on the red planet and Curiosity have no special tools to determine the source of gases. Next NASA Rover with more advanced equipment will be sent to Mars until next year.