Loss of water on Mars may be due to more factors than first thought

Large swathes of water once found on Mars slowly evaporated over billions of years, and a new paper dissects factors responsible.

Published   |   Updated Wed, Jan 5 2022 5:00 AM CST
0 minutes & 56 seconds read time

Erdal Yigit of the George Mason University has published a recent paper in the journal Science, suggesting loss of surface water on Mars is due to more than just solar wind inter

Loss of water on Mars may be due to more factors than first thought 01

The paper suggests three other factors to consider: gravity waves, convection, and dust storms. Planetary scientists have concluded that Mars' surface used to have lots of water, but it was slowly lost to space as hydrogen over billions of years.

Some prior research suggests that sunlight through the lower Martian atmosphere separated water molecules, leading to hydrogen dissipating away into space. Yigit has suggested there is insufficient evidence for such a straightforward answer.

He proposes that other forces first carried water into the upper atmosphere before breaking apart and leaving Mars, citing recent experiments. The upward movement of water could be due to dust storms, gravity waves, and low altitude convection currents.

Mars probes show that water is still escaping into space, mainly during Mars summers when there are also the most global dust storms. Yigit suggests the storms could have circulated hydrogen after solar radiation split it from oxygen and that gravity waves propagating upwards may have pushed the water higher into the atmosphere.

You can read more from the paper here.

NEWS SOURCES:phys.org,

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles