NASA Reveals Theory Behind Loss Of Water From Surface Of Mars

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NASA explains the disappearance of water from the surface of Mars due to the dust storm form dust clouds which act as 'space elevators' carrying water vapours

Written By Pragya Puri | Mumbai | Updated On:
NASA

The recent study by NASA explains the disappearance of water from the surface of Mars. According to a study published on the official website of NASA, it reveals that there is a possibility that dust storms act as space elevators to carry water outside the atmosphere of Mars, which led to its disappearance over billions of years. 

Disappearance of water from Mars

In 2018, NASA spacecraft were able to record a detailed account of the life cycle of the 2018 global dust storm. According to the new papers, discovered a new phenomenon that took place arising within the storm. Scientists have observed dust tower surrounding Mars. These concentrated clouds of dust trap the heat received from the Sun, and rise in the air. According to the scientists, the dust towers are responsible for trapping the water molecules into space, where the solar radiation from the Sun breaks the dust molecules evaporating the water molecule into space. 

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The dust towers formed during the massive dust storm are dense and are capable of rising much higher than the “normal background dust in the thin Martian atmosphere”. The findings were found by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which is led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The agency has specially designed an instrument called the Mars Climate Sounder instrument which helps in sensing the heat and observe Mars through the haze. The instrument was designed to measure the dust storms. The developments on Mars enabled NASA to answer how Mars lost water from its surface over billions of years. 

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Nicholas Heavens of Hampton University in Hampton is the lead author of the papers, according to him, "Normally the dust would fall down in a day or so," he further added, “But during a global storm, dust towers are renewed continuously for weeks.:.” The group of scientists were intrigued by the dust activity. They believe that the dust towers act as "space elevators" for other materials, transporting them through the atmosphere. These airborne dust heats up taking along the gases and the water vapour which is observed in the form of clouds above the surface of Mars.

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