Methane can be made by life
Or hydrothermal systems,
By microbes in the regolith
Or from the rocks, if not them.
Methane doesn’t last for long
Floating in the atmosphere.
Tens of decades, then it’s gone,
Reacting in the sunlight there.
What Curiosity has found,
Unexpected and delighted,
A whiff arising from the ground
Has scientists excited.
It doesn’t mean that there is life
Or that there was in past
It means we have a lot to learn
Before we’ll know at last.
What difference would it make to us?
Bugs aren’t likely to converse.
Even if they share our Sun,
Are we better off or worse?
I for one would thrill to know,
To find conclusive data.
Even if it pays no gold,
Life will always matter.
by Kate Rauner
A couple wisps of methane found on Mars. It might be geochemistry, and there’s more to learn about that, too. But it could indicate the existence of life. Stay tuned.