DETAILS ABOUT WATER ON MARS
Added on: 18th Sep 2016
A WATER FLOW 100 TIMES GREATER THAN
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
The Marte Vallis, a massive channel system on the Martian
surface, is believed to have seen over 100 times more
water pass through it each year than passes through the
Mississippi River, the 15th largest river by annual discharge
on our planet. Compared to the Amazon River, the largest
discharger by far, over 10 times the amount of water
passed through the Marte Vallis.
ONE OF THE SMOOTHEST PLACES IN THE
Mars is covered in low-lying, mostly flat plains. One of the
flattest and smoothest places in our solar system, the lowest
of the northern hemisphere’s plains may have been created
by vast swaths of water flowing across the Martian surface.
HOT SPRINGS MAY HAVE EXISTED ON MARS
This fact about water on Mars is especially exciting. Scientists
have found features of possible ancient Martian hot springs
that highly match those of hydrothermal springs on our
own Blue Planet. Since such springs on Earth (such as in
Yellowstone National Park) likely contain the closest relatives
of the first living organisms on the planet, the presence of
such springs there could mean finding definitive proof
of life on Mars.
A ROVER FINDS LIQUID WATER GLOBULES
In 2008, the stationary Phoenix rover was examining the
Martian surface and dug up chunks of a bright substance
which disappeared over the course of four days. Scientists
concluded, also based on two of the spheroids merging
together, that the substance was likely liquid water
which went on to evaporate.
SNOW FALLS ON MARS!
During the 2006-2007 Martian winter, snow fell on Mars,
but it’s not exactly what you might be thinking. Carbon
dioxide snow clouds noticed above the South Pole were
depositing carbon dioxide snow onto the surface below, the
only place in the solar system where this is known to occur.
REAL SNOW FALLS ON MARS, TOO!
In an even-more astonishing discovery, also in 2008, the
Phoenix rover recorded water-ice snow (the kind we receive
on Earth) falling near the Martian north pole.
EXAMINING METEORITES FROM SIGNS OF WATER
Beyond using orbiters and rovers to search for water on Mars,
scientists also closely examine Martian rocks which have
fallen to Earth, ejected during impacts on the Red Planet.
The meteorite Yamato 000593 has furthered
scientists’ belief of water (and life) on Mars.
MARS IS INHOSPITABLE TO LIQUID WATER
Despite all the water in its many forms we have since found
on Mars, the temperature on Mars is still too low and its
atmosphere too thin for liquid water to exist on the surface
level. Various proposals have been put forth to terraform
Mars and warm up the atmosphere to make liquid water possible.