It is possible that there is still flowing water on Mars, but this does not mean that it is easy to find. It took more than 15 years of searching for water on Mars before researchers discovered definitive evidence that liquid flows on the surface of the planet today. On the other hand, it's possible that rivers and oceans covered the land in the past. The Red Planet has been observed, and those observations suggest that rivers and oceans may have played a significant role in the early history of the planet. Mars was once a warm and wet world that, in certain regions, may have been able to have supported microbiological life billions of years ago. However, the planet is considerably less massive than Earth, and its gravity and atmosphere are both significantly less dense.
A recently proposed explanation provides recent hints. Mars once had an ocean's worth of water covering its entire surface when it was wet. The polar regions of Mars are the only parts of the planet that have ice deposits because the rest of Mars is as dry as a desert. Who took the rest of the water, and where did it go? A portion of it was lost to the void of space. After being battered by particles of solar wind, water molecules disassembled into its component atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. These atoms, particularly the lighter hydrogen atoms, raced out of the atmosphere and were lost to space.
A new study comes to the conclusion that the majority of the water evaporated or was absorbed by the red planet's rocks. And there it stays, buried deep within the minerals and salts of the earth. According to the researchers' estimations, Mars may still be home to as much as 99 percent of the water that once flowed across its surface. Their findings were presented in a paper that was just published this week in the journal Science. Data collected over the past two decades by robotic missions to Mars, such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and NASA's Curiosity rover, showed a wide distribution of what geologists refer to as hydrated minerals. These minerals are thought to be the remnants of past life on Mars.
The water vapor that was present in the uppermost layer of the atmosphere dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen; the hydrogen, which was lighter, was then carried away into space. This process is still ongoing as of today. The rate of escaped hydrogen was measured by orbiting spacecraft MAVEN and Mars Express, which found that the rate appeared to change with the seasons and dust storms. New Evidence Suggests the Presence of Liquid Water on Mars A global research team has uncovered new evidence that suggests there may be liquid water hiding beneath the ice cap that covers Mars' south pole.
The researchers, who were led by the University of Cambridge, made use of laser-altimeter data obtained from spacecraft in order to discover subtle patterns in the height of the ice cap. After that, they showed how these patterns matched up with the predictions made by a computer model of the effects that a body of water beneath an ice cap would have on the surface of the planet. Mars, like Earth, has thick water ice caps at both poles, and when combined, these ice caps have a volume that is roughly equivalent to that of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Some geologists believe that the water that once covered Mars in oceans is still present on the planet, but it is buried deep below the surface. However, because there is not a lot of water available, a significant amount of rock would have to be heated up. Volcanic activity on Mars reached its zenith between three and four billion years ago. Because Mars is unable to recycle its crust, a significant portion of its surface has an age measured in the billions of years. According to the latest research, it is these ancient rocks that are preserving the majority of the water that was once abundant on young Mars. This information was gleaned from an examination of Mars' polar regions.
According to the results of the team's simulations, the Martian crust may contain the equivalent of an ocean covering Mars to depths ranging from one hundred to one thousand meters. That is the equivalent of up to three quarters of the volume of the Atlantic Ocean. It is not enough to know how the water on Mars disappeared; we also need to know when this took place in order to find life on the red planet. According to Ms. Scheller, "what we see is that all of these minerals that incorporated this water into them all formed before 3 billion years ago." She went on to say that the best rocks to look for evidence of life in are those that date to the time period in question because this will give you the best chance of success.
On Earth, the terrain that surrounds bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes, tends to be more boggy and rich in mud and clay. There are similar deposits on Mars as well, which serve to trap water and point to possible locations where larger bodies of water once existed. There's a chance that the water on Mars is up to more than just looking pretty. According to a recently published study, the sand can be caused to levitate when the liquid is brought to a boil at low pressures.