Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com A few months after detecting an "unusually high" level of methane on Mars, researchers have yet to figure out what's causing the spike.
According to a study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Newcastle University in the U.K. have ruled out that the spike could have been caused by wind erosion of rocks that had trapped the methane from fluid inclusions and fractures on the Red Planet's surface.
(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) NASA'S CURIOSITY ROVER DETECTS 'UNUSUALLY HIGH' LEVEL OF METHANE ON MARS On Earth, methane is produced both from biological and geological sources.
Methane was first detected in the Martian atmosphere in 2003, but the recent spike in levels discovered by NASA's Curiosity rover has perplexed researchers.
In June, the space agency confirmed the rover measured the largest level of methane, 21 parts per billion units by volume, since landing on the Red Planet on Aug. 6, 2012.
The New York Times reported in June that sunlight and chemical reactions would break up any methane in Mars’ thin air “within a few centuries,” adding that the newly-detected spike was likely released recently.
MYSTERIOUS 'STAR TREK LOGO' SPOTTED ON MARS BY NASA The Mars methane spike has surprised experts.