Mars 'Missing' water may be underground

Mars had enough water to have covered the whole planet in an ocean about 100 to 1,500 metres deep

Scientists had found enough evidence on the surface of Mars that shows that the planet had abundant water flowed across it billions of years ago, forming pools, lakes, and deep oceans and now scientists are concern with the missing waters of planet which led to investigation.

The researchers from California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) found out that around four billion years ago, Mars had enough water to have covered the whole planet in an ocean about 100 to 1,500 metres deep. These enormous liquid bodies on its surface vanished around 3 billion years ago. For years, scientists have assumed that this water disappeared into space when the planet’s atmosphere thinned out.

Current estimates suggest Mars may have had between 100 and 1,500 meters global equivalent layer (m GEL) of water on its surface(m GEL refers to a layer of 1 meter of water that would cover an even surface of the planet). 1,000 m GEL is equivalent to roughly half the water of the Atlantic Ocean.

According to a study by researchers at Caltech, published in Science Today it is found that between 30% and 99% of Mars’s ancient
global water may still can be found within the Martian crust. The team studied the quantity of water on Mars over time in all its forms -- vapour, liquid and ice -- and the chemical composition of the planet's current atmosphere and crust, analysis of meteorites as well as using data provided by Mars rovers and orbiters, looking in particular at the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen.

The study is based on component of water hydrogen and oxygen, not all hydrogen atoms are created equal. There are two stable isotopes of hydrogen -- deuterium to hydrogen. The lighter-weight hydrogen has escaped the planet's gravity into space than its heavier counterpart, according to the researchers. The escape of planet's water via the upper atmosphere would leave a mark on the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the planet's atmosphere, and there would be an outsized portion of deuterium left behind, according to researchers.

They also noted that the loss of water solely through the atmosphere cannot explain both the observed deuterium to hydrogen signal in the Martian atmosphere and large amounts of water in the past.

But the loss of water to hydrated minerals in the crust isn’t unique to Mars; this happens on Earth also all the time. In that case the Earth benefits from its tectonic plates actively recycle its crustal rocks in a process that would release this water. Also earth retained a thick atmosphere that kept the planet at the perfect temperature for life to evolve and thrive. Mars has no tectonic plates, and it haemorrhaged its atmosphere once its magnetic field shut down 4 billion years ago.

India Scanner News Network

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