Many satellite and robotic expeditions to Mars have documented many river valleys, lake bottoms, and flood waterways on the Red Planet, revealing landscapes carved by the vigorous ancient water cycle. But today, Mars is as dry as bones, and if new research is correct, it could be due to the size of the planet itself.
“The fate of Mars was decided from the beginning,” said Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Wang said in a statement.. “There is probably a threshold for the size requirements of rocky planets to hold enough water to allow habitability and plate tectonics at masses above Mars.”
Wang, the lead author of a new study led by graduate student Jen Tian, said this week Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences, Investigated stable isotopes of potassium in various meteorites. Its origin is known to estimate the presence, level, and distribution of volatile substances that can be a kind of tracer of the amount of water present.
By analyzing the composition of the Earth along with meteorites from Mars, Moon, and Asteroid 4-Vesta, the authors of the study found a well-correlated relationship between body size and the abundance of this particular potassium isotope. discovered.
In addition, 20 meteorites on Mars (200-4 billion years ago) lost volatiles, including water, at a much faster rate than Earth in the first billion years of their formation. I made it clear.
“Discovery of correlation [potassium] Planetary gravitational isotopic composition is a new discovery with important quantitative implications for when and how differentiated planets receive and lose volatiles, “said study co-author St. Louis, University of Washington. Said Catalina Rodders, a professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Early Mars would have been very similar to Earth, according to some models, including a thick Earth-like atmosphere and water standing on its surface.
How much water is controversial, but not our colleagues Space.com To explain, Mars has lost its protective magnetic field, Damage caused by the solar wind About a billion years after it was formed, it removed much of its atmosphere and evaporated all the water.
Analysis: What does this mean for the exploration of alien life?
New research provides important insights into the exploration of extraterrestrial life. Having discovered thousands of exoplanets orbiting alien stars, deciding which one is a good candidate to host life presents a challenge.
Studying all of them is currently impractical, and many can be ruled out by some of the data we already know. Most planets that do not orbit within the star’s “habitable zone” (theoretical band around the star where liquid water may be present on the surface of the planet’s body) can be excluded. However, both Venus and Mars exist within the habitable zone of our Sun, and neither is currently inhabitable to life.
“This study emphasizes that there is a very limited size range for having enough but not too much water for the planet to develop a habitable surface environment,” Bern, Switzerland. “These results will guide astronomers in finding habitable exoplanets in other solar systems,” said Klaus Megger, a co-author of the study at the University’s Center for Space Liveability. Stated.
The new study could help narrow down potential study candidates by adding another important filter to exoplanet data, Wang said.
“The size of an exoplanet is one of the easiest parameters to determine. Based on size and mass, size is the primary determinant of volatility retention, so exoplanets are candidates for life. I knew if there was one. “
https://www.techradar.com/news/mars-never-had-a-chance-new-study-says-red-planet-just-too-small-to-hold-onto-water/ Mars didn’t have a chance: new research shows that the red planet is too small to hold water