Is there water on Mars?
How can we explain the absence of liquid state water on its surface?
Is there any chance to extract water from the inner of Mars?
How much water was present billions of years ago on the red planet?
Scientists are trying to figure all of these things out.
As years pass by, we start to get new answers, which lead to new important questions.
But, why do we care about water on Mars?
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Are you thirsty? Good news: we got water. And maybe it is much more than you think.
The first spacecraft from Earth to visit Mars was Mariner 4 in 1965. Since then, several robotic spacecraft have flown by, orbited, or landed on Mars and sent back lots of information about this world so different from our own.
Mars is a cold, bleak wasteland, with very thin air that we Earthlings could never breathe. However, many of the pictures our telescopes, orbiters, and rovers have sent back show signs that liquid water might have been on the surface of Mars long ago. Also, we can see ice caps at the north and south poles.
All these signs of water are very exciting. Why? Because on Earth, almost everywhere there is water, there is life. Whether the water is boiling hot or frozen, some sort of creature seems to thrive in it.
At this point, is fair to ask ourselves: is it the same on other planets?
If water once flowed on Mars, did life once thrive there too?
Or, maybe there is still water on Mars, only it has gone underground. Could there be tiny life forms—like bacteria—on Mars even now?
That’s why we are looking for water. Is it enough for you?
“Can Mars support life?”: this is what we are actually asking when we ask “Is there water on Mars?”.
All of these questions – together with the curiosity of human mankind – pushed us to go and see what we could say about Mars, the dream planet, which some braveheart already calls “Second Home”.
If we ever find water on Mars – or at least if we ever find a way to get water on Mars without bringing it from Earth – it would be a revolution, and we could start to drastically change our mindset in the prevision of human colonization of Mars.
Probes were launched. Laser beams were sent on Mars and reflected right back on Earth. Telescopes were pointed on the Red Planet. Thousands of images were captured. A big quantity of cinematical, spectroscopical, chemical and biological data was collected by scientists over the years. Rovers landed on Mars, etc…
As you can see, we spent a lot of effort to understand better the secrets of this Romantic, cold, red planet.
Here’s what we already know about water on Mars.
On Mars, meteor strikes may have generated tsunamis 10 times larger than anything seen here—behemoth waves of destruction capable of submerging the Statue of Liberty and the Capitol Building.
The mega-tsunamis would have occurred about 3.4 billion years ago when two large space rocks slammed into a chilly sea in the Martian north. The first of these impacts, according to a study published this week in Scientific Reports, spawned massive, nearly 400-foot-tall (120-meter-tall) waves that carried bus-size boulders many miles inland. The waves flooded more than 220,000 square miles (570,000 square kilometres), an area larger than the many U.S. States. How do we know that?
Today, evidence for these ancient cataclysms takes the form of channels carved by the receding waves, lobe-shaped fields strewn with boulders, and craters that appear to have been filled with now evaporated seawater.
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Credits: Ron Miller
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Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks/Elon Musk/SpaceX/ESA/ESO
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