(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have conducted a new study that demonstrated that from the very beginning, Mars was doomed to become a desert. The planet is too small to hold rivers, oceans or lakes on its surface.
This is reported by space.com.
Experts analyzed the data provided by the rovers and found out that there were rivers and lakes on the Red Planet for a very long time. Almost the entire northern hemisphere was occupied by an ocean of enormous size.
About 3.5 billion years ago, water completely disappeared, as did much of Mars’ atmosphere. Experts suggest that the reason for such changes was the fact that the planet was left without a magnetic field that could fully protect the atmosphere.
The new study also demonstrates that Mars is too small for water to hold onto its surface for long periods of time. Experts studied samples of 20 meteorites obtained from Mars and measured the level of potassium isotopes in them.
It was this substance that was chosen as an indicator for more “volatile” elements, which is water.
They found that during its formation Mars lost much more volatiles than the Earth, but was able to retain them longer than the Moon.
Despite this, many scientists believe that the Red Planet still has potentially life-supporting horizons that contain ample amounts of water. Satellites of enormous size, for example, Europa near Jupiter or Enceladus near Saturn, can completely hide entire oceans, where life is present, under a layer of ice.
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