Scientists have further unraveled the phenomenon that led to the extinction of Mars into the ocean at a depth of hundreds of depths over hundreds of years.
Scientists using the NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Variable Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft have discovered that water vapor near the surface of the red planet has risen into the atmosphere. There it is easily destroyed by charged gas particles or ions and disappears into space.
The team wrote in the journal Science that Mars will continue to disappear when it is transported into high space after falling into the water from a polar ice caps frozen in hot weather today.
“We were all surprised to find that the water was so high in the atmosphere,” said Shane W Stone, a doctoral student in planetary science at the University of Arizona’s Moon and Planet Laboratory in Tucson. “The measurements we used came only from MAVEN, which is higher than Earth’s surface through the Martian atmosphere.”
To make their discovery, Stone and his team have been tracking the abundance of water ions on Mars for more than two years. They determined that the amount of water vapor close to the highest point in the atmosphere would be about 150 kilometers, with summer being the highest in the southern hemisphere.
At this time, the Earth is closest to the Sun, so it will be warmer, with more dusty weather. The warm summer temperatures and strong winds associated with the hurricane help the water vapor reach the top of the atmosphere, which is easily broken down into the oxygen and hydrogen it contains.
Hydrogen and oxygen escape into space. In the past, scientists thought that water vapor was trapped on the surface of Mars, just like on Earth. “Everything that takes it to the higher part of the atmosphere will be destroyed on Mars or Earth,” Stone said, as this is the part where the atmosphere meets the full force of the sun.
In two days, in June 2018, researchers measured water 20 times more than normal, when the Earth’s heavy dust storm surrounded Mars (which removed the NASA’s Opportunity Drive). Stone and his colleagues estimated that Mars lost water in the 45 days during the storm, which is the same as the entire two-year Mars year on Earth.
“We have shown that dusty weather interrupts water circulation on Mars and further pushes water molecules into the atmosphere and that chemical reactions can release their hydrogen atoms, and then they can release their hydrogen atoms,” said Paul Mahafi, director of the solar system’s exploration department. NASA is the chief investigator of Goddard and NGIMS.
Other scientists have also found that Mars dusty weather can raise water vapor far above the Earth’s surface. But no one has yet realized that the water will reach the top of the atmosphere. “The specialty of this discovery is that it provides us with a new path, and we never thought we had water to escape the Mars environment,” said Mehdi Benna, a planetary scientist at MAVEN’s NGIMS tool.
“It will fundamentally change our estimate of how fast water is flowing today and how fast it has escaped in the past.”