January 28, 2022

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It was once a paradise, today a dry planet: this is how Mars loses its water

Experts who study Mars assume that in the past the red planet was not red at all, but It looked like the earthwrites gate SciTech Daily.

Today, Mars is a desolate planet because all the water has evaporated from this planet. However, it is extremely important for scientists to understand how this happened. Water is an essential component of life as we know it and that is why they try to understand it How long can it be on the surface of the planet and what happened to it.

New research led by Michael Chavin, of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, attempts to expand our knowledge in this area. Chavin claims that desert storms on Mars can contribute significantly to drying up the planet. But these findings are not entirely new. A few years ago, desert storms were supposed to succeed Especially those that cover the entire planet every three years, Together with the warm moons, they contribute to the dryness of the planet. However, they lacked evidence.

The tipping point came between January and February 2019. Observations of three Mars orbit investigations showed scientists how regional desert storms could affect the Red Planet. It was found that During these storms, the planet can lose up to twice as much waterthan in quiet periods.

“Until now, scientists have not realized how significant the impact of regional desert storms is on the Martian atmosphere,” Chavin explains.

How do you lose water during desert storms?

His work suggests that desert storms warm the atmosphere. This creates strong winds, which literally catapult water molecules higher than normal. At certain altitudes, the Martian atmosphere is so thin that molecules are exposed to ultraviolet radiation. This breaks them down into simpler elements, such as hydrogen or oxygen. Then the hydrogen atom enters space very quickly.

“It’s enough for the water to lose a hydrogen atom, and then the hydrogen and oxygen no longer combine in the water. Simply put, if you lose a hydrogen atom, you’ve lost a molecule of water,” Chavin says.

Three probes contributed to the research result – the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Gas Tracking Probe and the MAVEN probe. The uniqueness of this case is that for the first time in history, three different missions worked together To capture a single comprehensive process.

“Shavin’s research has shown that there is another way Mars loses its water. So we can go back in time and compare Mars today with Mars in the past,” said Jeroniema Villanueva, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

If Mars has water on its surface, there is a good chance that life could have evolved there. Scientists don’t expect there to be anything more complex than bacteria on Mars, but even then it would be an extraordinary discovery. View the cooperation of the three space probes scientists A comprehensive picture of How could water be lost from the surface of the planet due to Desert Storm?

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