Mars MYSTERY: Scientists shocked as methane found by NASA rover DISAPPEARS from Red Planet

Scientists had used the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) in a bid to try and locate the gas with a view to understanding Mars better. The TGO is a device floating over Mars and according to the Independent, it was unable to find the methane. Reports suggest that in order to find out whether life exists on Mars, methane could hold the key.

The gas is produced by organisms on Earth and scientists argue this could mean life was on Mars as it was once found there.

Dr Manish Patel, head of the Nomad chemical analysis instrument on TGO, said: “The measurements we have made are very surprising.

“The methane previously detected by ground-based telescopes, the ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Express spacecraft and the NASA Curiosity rover seems to have disappeared.

“Mars continues to confound us. The only way these results make sense with previous observations is if there is a new mechanism in the atmosphere, removing the methane at a rate far faster than thought possible.

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“As always, Mars provides us with another mystery to solve.”

The presence of methane on Mars has been a hotly debated topic since the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express probe first took trace measurements in 2004.

Up until 2018, scientists had questioned whether there is any methane on Mars at all.

The ESA’s Mars probe repeated its discovery in 2014 but the findings were then disproved by the ESA Trace Gas Orbiter, which failed to find the foul-smelling gas.

On Earth, atmospheric methane is a formidable greenhouse gas, largely produced by farmhouse animals like cows and sheep.

And about 20 percent of the gas can be accounted for by soil and plant emissions.

Scientists also believe thawing wetlands and bogs, which have been in a state of permafrost for thousands of years in regions like Siberia, also threaten to release vast amounts of the gas as a result of climate change.

The methane breakthrough came in the wake of scientists finding evidence of groundwater streams and a likely underground source.