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Entire Martian atmosphere appears to act as a single unit

Using ten years of accumulated data from Europe’s Mars Express orbiter scientists have found that the Martian atmosphere appears to behave as a single unit, with changes its upper and lower levels closely connected.

“We discovered a surprising and significant increase in the amount of charged particles in the upper atmosphere during springtime in the Northern hemisphere, which is when the mass in the lower atmosphere is growing as ice sublimates from the northern polar cap,” adds Beatriz.

Mars’ polar caps are made up of a mix of water ice and frozen carbon dioxide. Each winter, up to a third of the mass in Mars’ atmosphere condenses to form an icy layer at each of the planet’s poles. Every spring, some of the mass within these caps sublimates to rejoin the atmosphere, and the caps visibly shrink as a result. “This sublimation process was thought to mostly only affect the lower atmosphere – we didn’t expect to see its effects clearly propagating upwards to higher levels,” says co-author Olivier Witasse of the European Space Agency, and former ESA Project Scientist for Mars Express. “It’s very interesting to find a connection like this.”

The finding suggests that the atmosphere of Mars behaves as a single system.

This finding might also explain why periodically Mars experiences a planet-wide dust storm, as it is doing right now.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Orion314

    Worth a view…
    thunderbolts project
    It provides some directions worthy of consideration, whereas “modern” Astronomy/Cosmology seems to have gone completely off the rails. Dark energy, dark matter, higgs bosons, gravity, Next stop? flat earth?

  • wodun

    The finding suggests that the atmosphere of Mars behaves as a single system.

    Why wouldn’t this be expected? I suspect they will find it is a bit more complicated too.

    Earth’s atmosphere is a single system too, its just that there are a lot of parts to that system.

  • Max

    The electric universe posting (12 minutes) is an excellent find.
    Many great examples of dust storms on Mars over the years, occurring during similar circumstances, which is strong evidence of cause-and-effect.
    As a kid, I loved putting balloons and other objects that will hold a static charge in a air stream of an ozone generator just to watch what looked like anti-gravity affect. Static charge repelling force. Funner than rubbing a balloon on your head and sticking it to the ceiling.
    Vortex static charges are used in everything from industrial air filters, vacuum cleaners, truck air filters, to ore separation technologies used in mining, and scrap metal recycling.
    Of course we witness it daily in weather. (static charge on water molecules hold the moisture a loft, condensation nuclei [carbon dioxide, dust, hydrogen sulfide, etc.] serves to bring the neg. charges together to form clouds while repelling from the earths surface)
    In the extremely dry atmosphere of mars, a negative charge dust storm stirred up by a magnetically caused dust devil, is highly likely to occur, and is thought to occur on other planets like mercury as well.

    I looked it up;
    “Mars’ elliptical orbit makes its distance from the Sun change with time, and also makes it speed up and slow down in its orbit. Mars is at aphelion (its greatest distance from the Sun, 249 million kilometers, where it moves most slowly) at Ls = 70°, near the northern summer solstice, and at perihelion (least distance from the Sun, 207 million kilometers, where it moves fastest) at Ls = 250°, near the southern summer solstice. The Mars dust storm season begins just after perihelion at around Ls = 260°.”
    Because of 24° tilt, the entire ice cap is experiencing it’s warmest temperatures of the year. The atmosphere is migrating, as the article indicates, to the sunless -260°F cold other side of the planet creating a strong positive and negative polarization and static response.
    With very little atmosphere, the Sun’s ionizing light deteriorates the surface creating a very fine dust perfect to be picked up and moved by electrical fields created by the atmospheric migration.
    Whenever hot meets cold, there is not only an energy transfer, there is an electrical transfer.
    Never underestimate the power of thermal coupling.

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