New data from the Mars orbiter MAVEN has found that the water on Mars moves into the upper atmosphere where it is lost to space much faster than expected.
It had previously been believed that Mars’ water loss only occurred in the lower atmosphere, which is a much slower process. Scientists had also believed that water on Mars would behave as it does on Earth, where temperatures and the atmosphere act to block it from reaching the upper atmosphere where it can easily and quickly be lost to space. Instead, MAVEN found a lot of water in the upper atmosphere.
When the team extrapolated their findings back 1 billion years, they found that this process can account for the loss of a global ocean about 17 inches deep. “If we took water and spread it evenly over the entire surface of Mars, that ocean of water lost to space due to the new process we describe would be over 17 inches deep,” Stone said. “An additional 6.7 inches would be lost due solely to the effects of global dust storms.”
During global dust storms, 20 times more water can be transported to the upper atmosphere. For example, one global dust storm lasting 45 days releases the same amount of water to space as Mars would lose during a calm Martian year, or 687 Earth days.
This data reinforces the theories that Mars once had liquid water on its surface, either as intermittent oceans or as lakes and rivers. Or it suggests that Mars once had a lot more glaciers than it does now, reinforcing a competing theory that glaciers formed the Martian features we on Earth routinely associate with flowing water.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.