I am wondering if the timing of the oxygen spike on Mars could be used to determine if photosynthesis is the source (which would be another indication of life on Mars), or if it is purely heat related?

I would think if the oxygen output pattern on Mars throughout a warm day is close to that on Earth, that could indicate photosynthesis. If not, e.g. completely correlated to heat, that would suggest other chemical processes.

It would be really interesting to look in the morning, when the sun is just starting to shine, and hasn't warmed things up yet, and just after dusk, when there shouldn't be photosynthesis, but it should still be somewhat warm at that time.

Here is an article that talks about the oxygen spike on Mars: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mysterious-oxygen-spike-seen-on-mars-puzzles-scientists

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps don't use the word "photosynthesis," as that typically refers to the biologic process of splitting CO2. There could be other mechanisms which either are enhanced upon warming or which use quantum photon absorption to trigger changes in molecular bonds. $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2021 at 14:08


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