in the magazine Earth and Planetary Science Letters Scientists describe a model developed for the evolution of the Martian atmosphere that combines the high temperatures after the planet formed with the formation of the first oceans and atmosphere.
It shows that Water vapor is concentrated in the lower atmosphereThe upper layers remained dry. A similar situation is currently taking place on Earth, where there is a large part of it Moisture condenses as clouds in the troposphereat altitudes of up to 20 km.
Molecular hydrogen that did not combine with oxygen to form a water molecule, to the upper atmosphere of Mars, where it escaped into space. This assumption allows for Direct link between this model and Curiosity’s measurements.
The researchers responsible for the study believe they made Example of a previously overlooked chapter in Martian history. It may be important to understand to note that Long ago, the atmosphere of Mars was definitely denser than it is today (about 1,000 times) It is mainly composed of molecules containing two hydrogen atoms.
This is a major discovery because it is known Hydrogen in this form is a strong greenhouse gas in a dense environment. In an atmosphere of this formation, there will be a greenhouse effect that will be able to Preserving liquid water for millions of years.
It also turned out to be interesting deuterium ratio (heavy hydrogen isotope) to hydrogen in various Martian samples, including Meteorites and elements studied by Curiosity. Mars meteorites are Igneous rocks from the mantle of Marsthat arose at a time when Mars was still characterized by volcanic activity.
Water melted in fiery samples from Mars’ mantle It shows a ratio of deuterium to hydrogen similar to a measurement made in Earth’s oceans. This proves it Water on both planets came from the same source in the early solar system.
Curiosity measured the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the 3-billion-year-old clay And I found out that there was Three times larger than the Earth’s oceans. The only process that may be responsible for this level of deuterium concentration is Loss of the lighter hydrogen isotope in space.
The model shows that if The atmosphere of Mars contained diatomic hydrogen at the time of the planet’s formation, surface water would naturally be enriched in deuterium by a factor 2-3 times greater than the interior of Mars. This, in turn, confirms the observations of scientists. Deuterium is more likely to form water than molecular hydrogenwhich traps ordinary hydrogen and escapes from the upper atmosphere.
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