Let’s set aside all conspiracy theories for the moment and focus on the official data provided by NASA. According to headlines all over the world, the Curiosity Rover has detected ‘signs of life’ on Mars, a moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Since it landed two years ago, Curiosity has been analyzing rocks, soil samples and Mars’ thin atmosphere. Using its Tunable Laser Spectrometer, the rover analyzed the gas composition in the Gale Crater and it detected the methane composition had registered several spikes.
Methane is a hydrocarbon gas strongly associated with life. On Earth, 90 percent of all atmospheric methane comes from living organisms while the rest is produced by geochemical processes. This is why researchers believe Mars might harbor life; they believe they’ve found their methane footprint.
The fact that the martian methane concentrations fluctuate might prove evidence that there is a seasonal increase in the gas and it might be produced by methane-producing microbes known as methanogens.
Carbon rich meteorites could also account for the increased methane concentrations or the gas could be produced by unknown geochemical processes. For all we know, it could be evidence of underground alien cities.
We’re waiting for future missions to Mars to shed light on this matter.