NASA’s Curiosity rover recently discovered baffling oxygen on Mars. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) portable laboratory in the rover discovered the samples of Molecular Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere while the unusual methane mystery is still unsolved.
In an official blog post, NASA stated that the rover found “95% by volume of carbon dioxide (CO2), 2.6% molecular nitrogen (N2), 1.9% argon (Ar), 0.16% molecular oxygen (O2), and 0.06% carbon monoxide (CO).”
The rover landed at Gale Crater on Mars seven years ago. The data from the last seven years suggested that only 0.16% of O2 is available on the Mars atmosphere. The Oxygen on Mars is surprisingly varying, According to NASA, such variations implied that something is producing it and then taking it off.
We’re struggling to explain this. The fact that the oxygen behavior isn’t perfectly repeatable every season makes us think that it’s not an issue that has to do with atmospheric dynamicsMelissa Trainer, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt
A recent research paper entitled “Seasonal variations in atmospheric composition as measured in Gale Crater, Mars” published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets shows the baffling oxygen.
In Summer and Spring, Oxygen levels hike to up to 30 percent and then again fall during the Winter Season.
The Curiosity rover is discovering weird and scientists are trying to explain various phenomenons. Various predictions are made till but no one is able to explain the observations completely like the radiations can generate Oxygen but it is failed to explain everything as there is not enough water on Mars.