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(NEWSER) – The Mars rover has delivered what a NASA scientist calls an "oh my gosh moment"—it detected methane on the red planet, reports the New York Times.

The discovery is making headlines because the gas had to originate somewhere, and one possibility is that the source is some form of microbial life, reports the Guardian. “That we detect methane in the atmosphere on Mars is not an argument that we have found evidence of life on Mars, but it’s one of the few hypotheses that we can propose that we must consider,” says scientist John Grotzinger of the Curiosity team. The rover picked up spikes in the levels of methane that disappeared in a matter of weeks.

Photo: Getty Images

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