Large quantities of methane gas have been detected on Mars, Nasa scientists have announced in Science journal.
The gas could be produced either by geological activity or by life.
Methane was detected in the Martian atmosphere five years ago; scientists have found it is more abundant over particular parts of the planet.
It should last for only a short time in the atmosphere until it is destroyed by sunlight, and so its continued presence means it is being replenished.
This suggests the methane is made by an ongoing process.
But the ultimate origin of the methane could either be an ancient or a modern one, say the researchers.
“The fact that we have found three discrete regions where Mars is releasing methane at this time means we have a window into processes occurring under the surface of the planet,” said co-author Michael Mumma, a senior planetary scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland, US.
“The production (of methane) is likely due to only one of two possibilities. The first is geochemistry, the second is biology. That raises much interest on which one is the dominant production mechanism.”
If the methane is produced by geological activity, it could either originate from active Martian volcanoes or from a process called serpentinisation.
The latter process occurs at low temperatures and occurs when rocks rich in the minerals olivine and pyroxene react chemically with water, releasing methane.
Some scientists consider it possible that microbes could have survived for aeons below the Martian permafrost layer, where water changes from ice into liquid.
In deep canyons, or the walls of yawning craters, ice might plug fissures or pores connecting these sub-permafrost regions to the atmosphere.
Nasa’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, due to launch to the Red Planet in 2011, will carry instruments that have the potential to distinguish between carbon in gases produced by biological activity and those with a geochemical origin.
I realize that the American people are worried and a bit perplexed over the bailout and how it is going to this point. But there has got to be a line drawn of where our money is spent. I am still dead set against using my money to help a bank acquire more holdings.
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) will receive $20 billion in fresh government investments and a federal backstop against $118 billion of bad assets it holds to help it absorb Merrill Lynch & Co, U.S. officials said on Friday.
As part of an emergency plan announced by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, Treasury will provide Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, with $20 billion in fresh capital from a government bailout fund in exchange for preferred stock.
The government also agreed to share in losses on the troubled assets, which Bank of America took on when it paid an estimated $19.4 billion for Merrill on Jan. 1.
With the financial system foundering under a mountain of bad mortgage-related debt, officials feared a deteriorating capital base at Bank of America, which has already received $25 billion from the government, posed a risk to the financial system as a whole.
Sorry but this story just pisses me off…….We are payiung a bank to assume the debt and problems of another entity. Where is this good business practice? Where is this wise use of the taxpayers money?
Any thoughts? Please share.
Attorney General-designate Eric Holder on Thursday capped years of angry debate over U.S. counterterrorism policy and declared a major break from the Bush administration.
“Waterboarding is torture,” said Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to run the Justice Department.
Holder’s blunt response to the first question at his confirmation hearing was one that many on the Senate Judiciary Committee had sought after years of frustrating nonanswers on the subject from Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales.
I have heard all the arguments on torture. One that if it saves Americans lives then it is okay and second, torture achieves little success on gaining needed intel.
I am personally against any form of torture and yes, torture is a subjective subject that can be defined anyway a person wants to define it. But we can end all this BS with one simple act. For those who condone the use of these techniques, then let them have it done to them and I will bet that their sanctimonious BS will end.
This is a blog entry from US News & World Report.
Got an old gas-guzzler in your driveway? Legislation that was introduced yesterday may soon allow you to trade it in for cash – up to $4,500, depending on the car. Said Sen. Charles Schumer, “This is an even better trade-in offer than they could get from any car dealership.”
“Cash for Clunkers,” as the program is being called, aims to get millions of fuel-inefficient vehicles off the road to help lower our reliance upon foreign oil, and reduce emissons and pollution. According to the Associated Press, by its fourth year the program would save between 40,000 and 80,000 barrels of fuel a day. The estimated cost of the program is between $1 and $2 billion.
The newer the vehicle, the more cash you’ll get for it. If your vehicle was made before 1998, you’ll get $2,000, while vehicles from 1999-2001 will get $3,000 and any vehicles made after 2002 will get $4,500. A person can also claim the equivalent dollar amount in public transit fares. The cars must be driveable, and must have a fuel economy rating of less than 18 miles per gallon. Once turned in, the old vehicles would be taken apart for scrap.
I had to think about this for awhile before I could comment……This is just so much BS…they will be wasting time and money on a program that will go NO WHERE.
Before I post I would like to thank my friend at Culturepress, who brought this piece of work to my attention.
PETA thinks fish need some PR help. “People don’t seem to like fish,” says the group’s website. But “nobody would hurt a sea kitten!” That’s the theory behind PETA’s latest campaign, which includes a petition calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop promoting “the hunting of sea kittens (otherwise known as fishing).” “It is hard to take an organization which wants to change the name of fish seriously,” said an Australian fisheries spokesman. Meanwhile, the principal of Spearfish (SD) High School isn’t sold on Sea Kitten High—”it’s nothing we’re taking seriously.” But the Whitefish, Mont., school superintendent is more amenable, the Missoulian reports: “Who wants to be on the hook for being insensitive to kittens?” he asked.
Now these are the same people that want to fight global warming by using human breast milk for ice cream. Here is a little lesson for PETA. Man is a predator…we can tell that by out appearance, if nothing else. Predators eyes are in the front of our heads…prey’s eyes are on the side to give them an advantage in nature.
If we stop killing to eat….we will most likely starve. think of anything…a tomato…the plant’s young…..a turnip…kill it to eat….even if we eat grass…to cut it would cause pain….so PETA what shall we eat?
My only suggestion is that they really need to get alid or get a life!
Some months ago I had a post about this family in New Jersey that were naming their kids after Nazis. The son’s name was Adolf Hitler Campbell and he has just celebrated his birthday at that time. Well as has been said, “there is more to this story”.
Police and child protection officials removed a 3-year-old boy named for Adolf Hitler and his two younger sisters, whose names also have Nazi connotations, from their New Jersey home.
On Friday, officials from the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services took into protective custody Adolf Hitler Campbell, 3, and his younger sisters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 8 months, according to the Holland Township Police Department.
Police, DYFS officials and a court spokeswoman declined to reveal the exact reasons the children were removed from their home, citing confidentiality, but a child protection official indicated it was not because of the children’s names.
The children and their parents, Heath and Deborah Campbell, made headlines last month when a ShopRite supermarket in Greenwich, N.J., refused to inscribe Adolf Hitler Campbell’s name on a cake for his third birthday.
“I cannot comment specifically on any family or case. I can’t even say if we’re dealing with a case,” said DYFS spokeswoman Kate Bernyk.
Ok now why I disagree–if there is no abuse or stuff like that, then this children should be left with their parents. Personally, I think that they are morons for burdening their children with names that will haunt them in the future, but other than that the state has no place involving themselves in the family.
I said the same thing about the state of Texas and the polygamy thing and the children. I may not agree with their beliefs or preactices, but that is theirs and I and the state have no place messing around with it. If there is no abuse or such, then the state needs to just butt out.
So I lied! After a tongue lashing from one of my readers (I guess it was deserved) I have decided to retain my daily posts on the War in the Gaza Strip–may the force be with you!
Israeli forces shelled areas deep inside Gaza City on Thursday, hitting the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and wounding at least three people among the hundreds taking shelter in the compound, UN officials and witnesses said.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel expressed regret for the strike but said that Israeli forces were fired on by Hamas militants from just outside the UN compound and that the militants then ran inside to take cover, according to Olmert’s spokesman, Mark Regev.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak of Israel had told him the strike on the UN compound was a “grave mistake.” Ban, who was in Israel on Thursday to press for a cease-fire, said that he expressed “strong protest and outrage” to Israel. Relations between Israel and the UN offices in Palestinian territory, long strained, have worsened during the Israeli campaign.
Top Israeli diplomats were heading for Egypt and the United States Friday in what appeared to be a final push toward a cease-fire to end Israel’s punishing Gaza offensive against Hamas militants.
Following a day in which Israeli forces killed a senior Hamas official and shelled a U.N. compound, the Israeli military kept up its pressure on Hamas.