Water on Mars Disappears Faster Than Scientists Initially Calculated
Jan 12 2020
Despite the fact that Mars is presently cold and dry, winding waterway valleys and dry lake beds propose that water secured an important part of the Red Planetbillions of years ago. This could explain the way in which Mars lost its seas, lakes, and rivers, according to new data from a study. These atoms, not bound by the relatively low gravity of Mars, are then free to escape into space.
Mars is losing water much faster than previously estimated said scientists from the French National Centre for Scientific Research or CNRS.
The startling discovery was published in the journal Science. The researchers found that occasional changes were the key variables driving how water vapor was circulated in the Martian air. During Mars' warmest part of the year, large portions of the atmosphere became supersaturated with 10 to 100 times more water vapor than its average temperature. Normally, dust particles in the atmosphere and the cold temperature should condense the water vapor to form clouds like on Earth.
As a result of the higher rates, the Martian water is much more likely to escape the planet during specific seasons.
In a similar way, NASA is targeting the Moon's south pole for a manned landing in 2024 because it is known to store large amounts of frozen water. But, for now, a new study suggests that water loss on Mars may be a lot worse than we thought.
"Water in the atmosphere is a negligible component of the planet's total water inventory, but nevertheless regulates the dissipation of water over time". The data was obtained using the Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft sent to the Red Planet by the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency as ExoMars.