Methane measurements by the Curiosity tunable laser spectrometer, sols 0-750

Methane measurements by the Curiosity tunable laser spectrometer, sols 0-750
Methane measurements by the Curiosity tunable laser spectrometer, sols 0-750 This graphic shows tenfold spiking in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere surrounding Curiosity, as detected by a series of measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) instrument in the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory suite. The graph covers a span of time from August 2012 to September 2014, labeled on the horizontal axis by sols 0 through 750. The TLS measurements are indicated by small black squares on the graph, each with a vertical bar representing the margin of uncertainty in that sol's measurement. The measurements cover a 20-month span. Methane concentration in the Martian atmosphere samples climbed to several parts per billion by volume (ppbv, meaning several methane molecules per billion molecules of Martian atmosphere) during a short portion of that period. It averaged about 7 ppbv in those measurements. Both before and after the spike, the measured concentration was at or below about 1 ppbv, averaging 0.7 ppbv. The shaded boxes show the occurrence and duration of the SAM evolved gas analyses for Rocknest (RK), John Klein (JK), Cumberland (CB), and Cumberland combustion samples, when gases driven off of the samples were fed into the TLS sample cell for analysis. NASA / JPL

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