Once home to vast oceans, Mars is losing its remaining water particles, according to scientists.
It’s been confirmed that the current water particles are mysteriously disappearing from the surface of Mars. This is opposed to our current understanding of Mars since the disappearance is happening faster than it was previously thought. Scientists who took part in the recent study point out that these findings of water disappearance are expected to transform our understanding of water distribution on Mars.
Normally, scientists had observed sunlight turning water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms and weak gravity on Mars being unable to hold on to these atoms. Since the lack of atmosphere, they disappear off into space. This happens gradually.
Now, the speed of this process seems to have gotten faster. This means that the red planet might lose more water than previously estimated.
Much like Earth, Mars was flooded with flowing water once; however, it seems that it has largely disappeared in its more recent history.
The new findings were published in Journal Science. The discovery was made using the Trace Gas Orbiter probe that was sent to Mars onboard the ExoMars mission. It is run by the European Space Agency and its Russian counterpart Roscosmos.
It should also be noted that the atmosphere of Mars accommodates up to 100 times more water vapor than the planet’s temperature should allow. Water is much more able to escape during the planet’s warm and stormy seasons which might explain the sudden disappearance to some extent.
Mars is almost completely dry and the water exists in its ice caps in frozen form. Since whatever’s left of the water is disappearing rapidly, our hopes for discovering alien life and the chances of humanity moving to live on Mars might be on the decline.