Where delac water on Mars? Scientists have a new suggestion
Planetary scientists believe that billions of years ago Mars was warmer and wetter than it is now. Where did it the water? In the new study, researchers endure the assumption that most of the water is still on the Red Planet, but it is sealed in a Martian rock that has absorbed it like a giant sponge. Assumption becomes quite interesting complement the conventional hypothesis that the planet is "dry" under the influence of the solar wind.
According to an article published in the journal Nature, using methods of computer modeling and studying the Earth's minerals data, an international team of scientists came to the assumption that the basaltic rocks on the surface of the Red Planet capture about 25 percent more water than similar minerals on Earth, which would explain the loss of most of the water on Mars.
"People asked this question for a long time, but never tested the theory that water can soak into the Martian rocks under the influence of the special conditions of the Martian environment", - said study leader John Wade of the University of Oxford.
Because of temperature changes, pressure and chemical composition of the very rock water on Mars could they simply be absorbed, whereas on Earth it is stored in the form of lakes and oceans, scientists say. Models have also shown that after this water could rush in the direction of the planet's mantle.
"The tectonic system of the Earth prevents sudden changes in the level of water surface, while soaking in terrestrial rocks, water can really go deeper into the mantle," - says Wade.
As a young Earth and Mars were quite different. Volcanic activity and lava flows could change the composition of the rocks on the surface, making it more absorbent, scientists say.
"On Mars, water interacted with fresh volcanic lava, which led to the formation of basaltic crust on the surface of the planet, having the property of absorbing more liquid," - says Wade.
"Water Planet chemically reacts with the rock, leading to the emergence of various water-containing minerals. In the end, the changed mineralogy of the planet has caused drying of the surface and made it uninhabitable. "
Even small changes in the concentration of iron in the rock on Earth and Mars can lead to serious changes in its absorbent effects, scientists say. His role is also played by the fact that Mars is much smaller Earth.
Researchers agree that solar wind could dry up some of the water supplies of Mars, but insisted that most of the water would just go away under the surface of the Red Planet, Skopje there in the form of subsurface ice. But in order to speak with confidence about whether or not it is tied up surface rocks Martian water, it is desirable to have a sample of rock extracted from different depths. At present, the most effective of Mars rovers drilled to a depth of no more than 7, 5 cm. Thus, while a new hypothesis to test is difficult. Therefore, to know for sure, we can either go there rovers capable of drilling deeper or after settlement of a base on which all dream lately, check it personally. Scientists want to use the same method of computer modeling, and analysis of data on the composition of rocks and tectonic activity, to ensure that does not suffer the same fate if the water on other planets of the solar system.
"to search for life on other planets, we should consider not only the correct chemical composition of the latter, but also the possible events that could occur in the past and have formed their final form. After all, these events could have a significant impact on whether there will be water on these planets, "- said Wade.
"In fact, these effects and their impact on the planet remain virtually unexplored."