NASA's Curiosity rover used its Sample Analysis at Mars to detect seasonal changes in atmospheric methane in Gale Crater. The methane signal has been observed for nearly three Martian years (nearly six Earth years), peaking each summer.

NASA's Curiosity rover used an instrument called SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) to detect seasonal changes in atmospheric methane in Gale Crater. The methane signal has been observed for nearly three Martian years (nearly six Earth years), peaking each summer.

This work was funded by NASA's Mars Exploration Program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington. Goddard provided the SAM instrument. JPL built the rover and manages the project for SMD.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

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