NASA has recently spotted an unexpected change in the oxygen on Mars. This discovery comes exactly after NASA used the Curiosity rover to measure the seasonal variations in the gas, which fills the air that’s found above the Gale Crater on Mars. However, the data sent back from the planet made the scientists question their credibility. They say that they have no explanation for the data and for the unusual fluctuations in the oxygen from Mars.
The first time they saw the data, it was simply mind-blowing. This comes from Sushil Atreya, a professor of climate and space sciences at the University of Michigan. Researchers still continue to find out more about the methane on the red planet. As we’ve seen with oxygen now, the amount of gas from there dives in a random way, and scientists don’t know why.
When the study took place, they used an instrument in order to analyze the air on Mars. They did it over the course of three years on Mars – six years on Earth. Scientists found that gases, such as argon and nitrogen, behave entirely predictable. The amount of gas which rises and falls is relative to the amount of carbon dioxide, which is about 95% of the air on Mars.
Scientists believed that oxygen would go through the same changes. But the oxygen actually rose through summer and spring, and the amount of oxygen varied in the atmosphere. This thing showed that it’s produced, and then suddenly removed from the air.
Why is this happening?
Scientists were truly shocked to learn about these findings. They wanted to check the accuracy of the instrument that they used for this study, and they found that it was working just fine. So it was not the instrument. There were also other explanations, but they were all rejected.