Mars losing water faster than expected, says study

By: |
London | January 10, 2020 5:23 PM

Sunlight and chemistry disassociate water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms that the weak gravity of Mars cannot prevent from escaping into space, they said.

NASA, mars 2020 mission, mars 2020, fossil fuel, life on mars, mars mission 2020With the observed supersaturation rates, the capacity of water to escape would greatly increase during certain seasons, the researchers said. (Reuters)

Mars is losing water more quickly than what theory, as well as past observations, would suggest, according to a study that used data from the ExoMars Mission. The gradual disappearance of water (H2O) occurs in the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet, researchers from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said. Sunlight and chemistry disassociate water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms that the weak gravity of Mars cannot prevent from escaping into space, they said.

The study, published in the journal Science, revealed that water vapour is accumulating in large quantities and unexpected proportions at an altitude of over 80 kilometres in the Martian atmosphere. Measurements showed that large atmospheric pockets are even in a state of supersaturation, with the atmosphere containing 10 to 100 times more water vapour than its temperature should theoretically allow, according to the study.

With the observed supersaturation rates, the capacity of water to escape would greatly increase during certain seasons, the researchers said. These results were were obtained thanks to the Trace Gas Orbiter probe from the ExoMars mission, financed by the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Nokia to partner with NASA on ARTEMIS mission to build LTE network for astronauts on the Moon
2Telangana rains: Toll goes up to 70, govt on alert with fresh spell forecast
3India and Argentina to deepen its cooperation in the space field