Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

A New study casts doubt on the Mars valley water formation theory

Posted in Science on 5th Sep, 2015 07:55 PM by AlexMuller

A new study has revealed that during the period in which the red planet's distinctive valleys supposedly formed, the Martian atmosphere may have already been too depleted to maintain the free-running water that it is believed to have carved out the geological features.

The Martian atmosphere is predominantly made up of carbon dioxide (CO2). It is believed that during the period of valley formation, a much greater amount of the gas was present in Mars' atmosphere, creating a dense shield that protected the Red Planet against the inhospitable space environment, and preventing water from instantly evaporating.
The new research focused on the largest deposit of carbonate (carbon which had been drawn from the Martian atmosphere and locked into the ground) discovered on the Martian surface, Nili Fossae, bringing together data from numerous missions surveying the Red Planet.
The results of the study cast doubt on the prevailing model of the Martian atmosphere at the time of valley creation, "The biggest carbonate deposit on Mars has at most, twice as much carbon in it as the current Mars atmosphere," states Bethany Ehlmann of the California Institute of Technology and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena. "Even if you combined all known carbon reservoirs together, it is still nowhere near enough to sequester the thick atmosphere that has been proposed for the time when there were rivers flowing on the Martian surface."
Prior to the arrival of probes such as NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists believed that many large deposits of carbonate such as that at Nili Fossae would be present on the Martian surface, accounting for the CO2 that had previously, as part of the Red Planet's atmosphere, allowed liquid water to exist.
But according to the study, there would have to be at least 35 carbonate deposits the size of Nili Fossae close to the Martian surface to support the theory. The researchers state that such an abundance of carbonate is unlikely to exist, as Nili Fossae is roughly the size of the state of Arizona, and that similar deposits would almost certainly have been detected by satellite-based spectrometers.
But if Mars could not maintain free running water in the creation period, just how were the valleys cut into the Martian landscape? "Maybe the atmosphere wasn't so thick by the time of valley network formation, instead of a Mars that was wet and warm, maybe it was cold and wet with an atmosphere that had already thinned" explains Christopher Edwards of the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona.
"How warm would it need to have been for the valleys to form? Not very. In most locations, you could have had snow and ice instead of rain. You just have to nudge above the freezing point to get water to thaw and flow occasionally, and that doesn't require very much atmosphere."

Tags: Marsspaceplanetgeologywater

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-09-06
New evidence and new theories - red planet clearly needs more exploration before we have some firm answers Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-03-24 00:24:10
    Algorithm will allow for simulating an entire brain more
    Posted in Software on 2018-03-24 00:16:27
    DeepMind explores inner workings of artificial more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-24 00:12:47
    Rise in cancers 'caused by weight' more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-03-21 20:44:48
    Study: Apple Watch Cardiogram app bested EKG band more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-21 20:42:10
    The wearable brain scanner you can move around more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me