Massive Ancient Ocean Discovered On Mars

by Amish Shah March 05, 2015




Massive Ancient Ocean Discovered On Mars

 

What if we found out that 4 billions of years ago, Mars had enough water to cover almost half of it’s northern hemisphere?

Well, yes, we have found that out.

The research, conducted by experts from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, was carried out using two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. The discovery was made by scientists at NASA who measured atomic signatures of water in the Martian atmosphere using super powerful telescopes on Earth.

Scientists revealed today that the red planet’s ocean would have contained at least 12.4 million cubic miles of water and was in the planet’s northern plains.

The ocean was on Mars during its wet Noachian period, which ended about 3.7 billion years ago when life was just emerging on Earth.

Since then, it says that 87 per cent of water, the key to new life forming on other planets, has been lost to space.

Lead researcher Dr Geronimo Villanueva said in an interview:

“Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space. With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars.”

It was also noted from the study that over the years, Mars would have lost a volume of water 6.5 times larger than the amount trapped in the present day polar ice caps.

The ancient ocean containing the lost water would have covered 19 per cent of the planet’s surface.

If you want to know what that means, compare the Atlantic Ocean which covers 17 per cent of the surface of the Earth.

That is significant, to say the least.

References and photo credit:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150305-mars-ocean-water-map-space-science/





Amish Shah
Amish Shah

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