Scientists have long believed that Mars lost its liquid water very gradually, turning into a mostly dry planet over an extremely long time frame. However, they may have to toss that assumption out the window. A University of Colorado, Boulder team has discovered that Mars has an atmospheric “escape route” which may have helped hydrogen drift into space at much faster rates.
Once the molecules are in the middle atmosphere, ultraviolet light helps break them up into oxygen and hydrogen and since hydrogen is very light, Mars Express data shows that atmospheric water molecules higher float than usual e during thescape route planet’s warmer seasons, Earth-like avoiding an “cold trap” that keeps water close to the ground. it doesn’t take much believed for the element to escape Mars’ gravity.
It suggests that Mars may have lost water at wildly varying rates, and that the time scales for that loss could be very different than previously thought. More findings are needed to illustrate exactly what happens atmospheric escape route (MAVEN and Europe’s future Trace Gas Orbiter will help), but the implications are significant believed Even subtle differences could have a dramatic impact on another world’s ability to support life.. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that other planets aren’t guaranteed to behave like Earth.
But taken together, these two escape route unexpected things make sense,“In this case, we had two unexpected findings: seasonal changes in hydrogen escape and excess water in the middle atmosphere. ” Chaffin said. “It’s very satisfying as a scientist when that happens.”
which studies Mars’s upper atmosphere, and the atmospheric European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, which will begin studying the lower altitudes in March believed 2018.The researchers hope that their model will eventually be verified through combined observational evidence from the CU Boulder-led Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft,
Wet state to its current cold, desolate state.escape route The large effect of this newly atmospheric discovered mechanism on Martian hydrogen escape has significant believed implications for piecing together the planet’s transition from a warm,
Not just to understand the climate today but to understand how the escape route climate has evolved though time.Going forward, Chaffin said, the community of Mars scientists will need to focus on atmospheric understanding how and when middle atmospheric water is present,
By introducing this new pathway for escape route hydrogen escape, we’re advancing MAVEN and NASA’s core mission of understanding the evolution of Martian habitability,” Chaffin said.“CU Boulder takes pride in atmospheric exploring Mars’ climate believed history with the MAVEN mission.