Mars water mystery SOLVED: Scientists uncover reason for Red Planet's disappearing 'seas'

Share

The same way we study evolution of Earth, these scientists are trying to establish with certainity, the progres in the red planet's history that made it what it is now. Where that water went will continue to be the subject of debate.

This new study proves that Martian surface was not as barren and frozen as it is now.

Mars might no longer have oceans and other bodies of water, but according to researchers, the water that used to be on the surface of the Red Planet is still there somewhere.

Another report released recently by Oxford University's Earth Sciences department has supported the claim that it only takes subtle differences in a planet's eco-system for whether water can flow. The researchers published their results today in the journal Nature.

Image shows modern Mars (left) dry and barren, compared with the same scene over 3.5 billion years ago covered in water (right).

The results revealed that the basalt rocks found on Mars can hold approximately 25 percent more water than rocks on Earth. "However, on [ancient] Mars, these hydrated rocks, bearing dense minerals, may sink into the mantle and act to lock up the water, removing it for good".

The key to the reaction in question is iron, Wade and his colleagues explain. UFO hunter Scott C. Waring, for example, believes that a mysterious item spotted on the planet's surface is a Mars cannonball, proving an ancient war happened on the Red Planet.

One global team of researchers think they have found answer, based on a new model: The water is inside the Martian mantle. All those factors pointed to the possibility that water on the surface of ancient Mars was prone to geological chemistry that would have relocated its elements into minerals inside the planet's mantle.

Our hopes of a future civilization after depletion of Earth's natural resources rest on Mars. Mars' atmosphere is thinner and the planet is much smaller, just slightly more than half the size of Earth. Water is a necessity for life as we all know it.

Because Mars is cold and not terribly geologically active, it's unlikely, Wade says, that any aquifers of water persist in the upper mantle, though he is uncertain if liquid water might survive at deeper levels.

"Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet's magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust", the study concluded. Now we just need to get there ourselves to start drilling and find out which theories hold the most water.

Share