Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomescienceWater on Mars. After all, we know how long she could...

Water on Mars. After all, we know how long she could have been there

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Mars today is not an Earth-friendly place. The thin atmosphere, low temperatures, lack of liquid water and a large amount of harmful radiation reaching the planet's surface meant that all rovers that reached the planet's surface saw nothing but sand and rocks in their field of view. However, this does not change the fact that visible structures on the planet's surface indicate that this was not always the case. In many places, scientists observe systems that resemble existing riverbeds or canyons carved by flowing water.

Everything indicates thatThese structures were formed more than three billion years ago, when the Red Planet did not resemble the desert it exists today. Research by scientists suggests that for water to be able to create such canyons, valleys and riverbeds, it had to flow in these places for at least tens of thousands of years at a time. We can say that this value constitutes a kind of minimum for the duration of the existence of stable liquid water reservoirs on Mars. However, the question arises as to how much water it was actually able to hold. This is an important question because the longer water can remain on the surface of the planet, the greater the chance that the first forms of life will appear in this water.

Read also: Life on Mars can continue thanks to radioactive elements. But not on the surface

Alexander Morgan, a researcher from the Planetary Science Institute, decided to analyze the impact craters found before and after the creation of the system of canals, valleys and riverbeds in order to determine the maximum length of periods of stable water reservoirs on the planet. Surface.

The researchers point out that based on the rate of erosion on early Mars, they can determine that if water could have existed for long periods of time, rivers must have appeared and disappeared. There can be long periods of drought, separated by periods characterized by water flowing over the surface. Until now, scientists can be divided into those who favor the theory of dry, cold Mars and those who believe that early Mars was warm and wet. In the first case, there would be only ice caps on Mars, and in the second, there would be oceans of liquid water.

Read also: Hidden lakes on Mars – very liquid and salty. “Microbial life may be thriving.”

Morgan concluded that water could have been present on Mars for at least several hundred million years. However, this does not change the fact that Mars, just like on Earth, must have experienced climate changes that sometimes resulted in more ice and sometimes liquid water. No matter how you look at it, just 20,000 years ago, the area where American Chicago is today was covered by a kilometer-thick layer of ice. Just as the climate was changing on Earth, it was changing on Mars.

However, the fact that conditions for liquid water exist for hundreds of millions of years suggests that life may have had time to arise early in the planet's existence. The question arises whether we will be able to find its traces.

Echo Richards
Echo Richards
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn't about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life's poignant moments.

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