Nicholas Heavens is a Research Assistant Professor at Hampton University's Center for Atmospheric Sciences. He studies the role of aerosols and clouds in the weather and in past and present climates of planetary bodies in our Solar System (particularly Mars). To do so, he synthesizes atmospheric modeling, a suite of remote sensing techniques, and analyses of rock strata in outcrop. He currently tweets (as @WeatherOnMars) on climate and space sciences.
With the announcement of Curiosity's detection of methane on Mars, Nicholas Heavens gives us a guide to the history of methane detection on Mars, a discussion of its scientific significance, and a few things to consider when hearing about and asking about the detection.