A surprising discovery has been made that Mars consists of water that is leaking Hydrogen. A group of scientists have uncovered the strange way that water cycles on Mars. This could be a huge discovery in reasoning why Mars has turned into a dry planet from being a water-rich planet. Furthermore, this leakage of hydrogen could be making its way into space.
Evaporation is the only way that water can rise from the lower to the upper atmosphere and this is possible around every two years when Mars is nearest to the Sun and it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. In order to find out the weather dynamics of the Red Planet, a computer simulation was utilised by a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
According to Paul Hartogh from MPS, during summers in the southern hemisphere, water vapour can rise up and reach the upper atmosphere along with warmer air. After this, the vapour can be carried to the North Pole where it will condense as a liquid, falling out of the sky. When all of this is taking place, some of the water particles might disintegrate and leak atoms of Hydrogen into the space. This discovery could be a significant insight as to why Mars has lost so much water, though it was once known to be covered with countless rivers and massive oceans.
In the distant past, many of the discoveries found that Mars was covered with huge rivers. The question is – where did it all go? Since that time, the planet has experienced a dramatic change. There is only a little amount of frozen water on the ground and small traces of vapour in the atmosphere. Scientists state that Mars has lost about 80% of its water. In the upper atmosphere, water vapour is separated into hydrogen and hydroxyl radicals by the radiation from the sun. This hydrogen then escapes to space. Many researches prove that even today, water is lost through the same process. But, how does the water vapour reach the upper atmosphere when the middle layer can cool it down and covert it to ice?
Scientists have calculated that during the dust storms in 2007, there was twice the amount of water vapour that reached the upper atmosphere than that during storm-less summers in the southern hemisphere. According to Hartogh, the Martian atmosphere is more permeable to the vapours, unlike that of the Earth. Also, this new discovery should be worrisome as if this continues to happen, Mars will continue to lose more and more water. Around most of the water that is on Mars, exists as ice or vapour in the atmosphere. The north polar ice cap is the only place where the water ice is visible. The Martian South Pole also consists of some of this water ice.