on aliens farting. Dave you're supposed to be promoting science here.
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From the Gateway books.
Methane in the atmosphere is a reliable indication of aniaml life. Afterall, 80% of the methane in the earth's atmosphere is from cow farts.
Good grief it's been a long time since I read those books. Wonder if there were anymore in the sequence I missed and what happened to old Robin Broad (or something like that?) after he met the Henchee?
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although the most common "source" of methane is regarded usually organic or life forms, it is possible to form methane through inorganic chemical reactions between nickel, iron, hydrogen and other chemicals. Whether the methane traces found by the Mars rovers shows life or simple chemistry is yet to be determined.