Astronomy: Marsh Gas on Mars

Many a scientist's fond hope that there was life on Mars was dashed in 1963 when spectrographic studies revealed that the Martian atmosphere is as much as 50 times thinner than the earth's. It seemed almost certain that a relatively weak Martian gravity had allowed most of the planet's primitive atmosphere to leak off into space. There appeared to be practically no possibility that any of the lightest element, hydrogen, or its compounds, had remained long enough to play their essential role in the early evolution of life. Now it appears that such pessimism may have been unfounded. The...

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