Detection of Methane in the Atmosphere of Mars

  title={Detection of Methane in the Atmosphere of Mars},
  author={Vittorio Formisano and Sushil Atreya and Thérèse Encrenaz and Nikolai Ignatiev and Marco Giuranna},
  pages={1758 - 1761}
We report a detection of methane in the martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express spacecraft. The global average methane mixing ratio is found to be 10 ± 5 parts per billion by volume (ppbv). However, the mixing ratio varies between 0 and 30 ppbv over the planet. The source of methane could be either biogenic or nonbiogenic, including past or present subsurface microorganisms, hydrothermal activity, or cometary impacts. 
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