Latest Planetary Fourier Spectrometer Stories
Scientists rule out the possibility that methane is delivered by meteorites into the Martian atmosphere.
Scientists are now able to better explain why Marsâ€™s residual southern ice cap is misplaced, thanks to data from ESAâ€™s Mars Express spacecraft - the martian weather system is to blame. And so is the largest impact crater on Mars â€“ even though it is nowhere near the south pole.
This summer, Mars suffered a titanic dust storm that engulfed the entire planet. The dust storm contributed to a temporary warming effect around Mars, which raised the temperature of the atmosphere by around 20-30Â°C.
On December 25, 2003, Europeâ€™s first Mars explorer arrived at the Red Planet. Almost four years later, Mars Express continues to rewrite the text books as its instruments send back a stream of images and other data. Today, the spacecraft reached another milestone in its remarkable career by completing 5000 orbits of Mars.
ESA has started a technical investigation into the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board Mars Express, after a problem developed in the instrument a few months ago.
On Earth, methane is mostly produced by life. The recent detection of methane in the martian atmosphere therefore has given rise to much speculation about the possibility for life on the Red Planet. Part one of this four-part series about methane and Mars provides an overview of the recent findings.