Liquid, salt water on Mars: description, history and facts
As the study of space, people are increasinglyIntrigued by the thought of discovering alien life. With the development of technology, it became possible to study the planets closest to the Earth. One of them was Mars - the fourth planet in the solar system, surprisingly similar to the Earth, but as if it had long ago become obsolete and already cooled. The permafrost, unfavorable atmosphere for biological creatures, the strongest dust storms - all this makes it inaccessible to life. However, the water found recently on Mars gives hope to view the planet as a second home for people in the distant future.
Mars has almost twice the smaller radius,than on the Earth (an average of 6780 km), as well as a much smaller mass (only 10.7 percent of the Earth's). The motion of the planet around the Sun is carried out in an elliptical orbit. Rotation of the planet around its axis occurs in 24 hours and 39 minutes, about the same as on Earth. But around the Sun Mars moves much longer - more than 686.98 days by terrestrial measures. Phobos and Deimos are satellites of the Red planet of small size, having an irregular shape.
Before the water was found on Mars, the scientists beganto think about the existence of life there. Theoretically there could be life long before its appearance on Earth, but something happened that destroyed the atmosphere and all life on the planet.
The study of the planet involved the USSR, the United States, India and the European Space Community since 1960.
Detailed information and sensational discoveries weremade thanks to the spacecraft operating there and rovers Mars, Mariner, Curiosity, Opportunity, Spirit. It was the Martian probes that managed to take new photographs from the surface of the planet, to investigate soil samples, to detect the presence of fog, ice and water.
The clearest photographs of Mars were made by Hubble, the most powerful space telescope.
The surface of the planet
Light areas of the surface of Mars are called continents, and darker parts are called seas.
Recent research has shown that on Marsthere is seasonality. The sizes of polar caps of poles are variable, in summer they become smaller, and in winter they grow. The surface of the planet covers gorges, huge faults, deep craters, indicative of seismic and tectonic activity.
The planet has an amazingly flat landscape. A higher relief in the Southern Hemisphere suggests that in the distant past the planet experienced a significant collision with an asteroid, the strongest blow.
Perhaps this is the turning point of the period when water flows on Mars. The impact led to an increase in the magnetic field in the Southern Hemisphere due to the redistribution of the nuclear mass of Mars.
Discovered by the rover Curiosity soil inFor research purposes, they were subjected to heating, during which they noticed evaporating moisture. Then NASA came to a stunning discovery, discovering that the cubic meter of soil contains about a liter of water. Presenting, where on Mars water, no one expected that it is almost everywhere.
Some soil layers are dry, but mostThe plots are sufficiently moist and contain up to 4% water in the composition. Moreover, the upper layers are more humid, and below them are the dry layers. It is not clear why the moisture that is on the Earth under the ground is kept on top of Mars.
Investigation of deeper soil layers obtainedby drilling in the cave area, found compounds of carbonates and other minerals with clay content. This suggests that the liquid water on Mars was also in the form of groundwater.
Long branched indentations on the surfaceplanets, photographed from satellites, may well turn out to be dried up channels of deep rivers. The permafrost has turned all the water into ice, under which current flows of water are supposedly hidden. A thick layer of ice does not allow it to freeze, allowing the streams to continue to deepen river beds.
Atmosphere and radiation on the planet
Rich in oxygen atmosphere can not boast of the planet Mars. Water in the form of steam is a very small part of it. The atmosphere is sparse, so the radiation level here is very high.
Carbon dioxide is contained in the atmosphere most of all - more than 95%, diluted with a small amount of nitrogen and argon.
The average temperature on the planet is -50 ° C, but can drop to -140 ° C. Hypothetically, many years ago the climate on Mars was more humid and warm, rains happened.
Hypotheses and their confirmation
The possibility of having a liquid on Mars with oldtime worried humanity. Even without special equipment, powerful telescopes, scientists began to put forward hypotheses about the existence of water on the planet long before sending the first satellite into space.
Even in the XIX century, Giovanni Schiaparelli allowed himselfto assert that there is water on Mars. Moreover, he argued that on the planet there are many channels artificially created by intelligent beings. He believed that when water flows on Mars, it fills the man-made channels created as irrigation systems to save water resources.
An original confirmation of the scientist's guess was the discovery of a liquid on the planet. This is the first condition for having a life. The first step on the way to the possible settlement of the planet by people in the distant future.
The discovery of water on Mars was a real breakthrough in the exploration of the planet. The next important finding, perhaps, will be a real organic life.
Salt water on Mars
For the first time, the change of seasons on Mars began to speak after the discovery of white caps on the poles, which then decreased in volume, then increased.
In 2011 NASA made a sensational statement: water streams were discovered - perchlorates, which dripped from the slopes in the region of the Southern Hemisphere of the planet along the walls of the craters. Spectral images of the Mars Rreconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) left no doubt that the water is moving.
Water flows in the spring, forming water streams of a length of hundreds, and a width of about five meters, and disappears in winter.
On the other hand, ordinary water immediatelywould have turned into ice under the influence of low temperatures on the surface of Mars. There is a theory that the liquid is salty, a kind of brine based on perchloric acid, which due to its composition does not freeze. So far, scientists do not know for sure what kind of water it is. But if there really is salty water on Mars, then microorganisms that love salt like terrestrial can live in it.
Fog over the Red Planet
At sunset, gradually a fogsurface of the planet. This is another confirmation that liquid water exists on Mars. The mist rises above the cooled ground. It contains frozen ice particles falling on the ground from the fog under its weight. They managed to photograph the "Phoenix" by aiming up the laser. Some ice particles are immersed in the ground, thus ensuring a constant exchange between the atmosphere and the surface with water.
At night, the fog becomes deeper, rises higher, more ice particles fall out of it. The intensity and height of it also depend on the time of the year.
Storms and storms on the planet
Even before water was discovered on Mars, scientiststhey suggested the occurrence of dust storms and storms. The climate on the Red Planet has always been dry and cold according to facts and previously approved theories.
A constructed model representing Martianconditions about 3.5 billion years ago showed the existence of a previously huge warm lake. The steam rising from its surface formed a cloud, from which snow flakes then poured. This leads to the conclusion that on the planet you can observe and snow storms.
In 2015 Mars rover Opportunity made panoramic shots of a huge dust storm. His fellow Spirit repeatedly made similar pictures before. But this time the tornado was really incredibly large, it hid the surface of the planet.
Gusts of wind during the storms transfer sand, dust and reach speeds of up to 100 meters per second.
The Martian Ocean
Made in the 70's pictures, prove,that on Mars previously there was an ocean that covered most of the Northern Hemisphere. The presence of depressions in the surface indicates the existence of large lakes and rivers.
Studies using powerful radars have shown,that deep under the thickness of the ground, huge glaciers are hidden. MRO made it possible to reveal glaciers that stretched for hundreds of kilometers from the north pole to the equator. The water on Mars in the form of ice lies deep beneath the foot of the mountain formations, inside the craters of volcanoes.
It is the system of deep channels that is theoreticallycould form the oceans in the distant past. Channels themselves, most likely, appeared due to the flows of lava, sand, stones and erosion of glaciers. Volcanic activity led to the development of a large volume of gases, which became the reason for the formation of huge caves.
Drinking water on Mars
American scientists hypothesized that earlieron Mars were huge volumes of liquid, which gradually absorbed the system of caves. After all, caves have become naturally natural formed reservoirs, possibly even drinking water, which, most likely, is still there.
In soil samples from the planet Mars were foundminerals, including carbon, necessary to maintain human life. This allows us to state that the planet had previously had drinking water. The presence of a drinkable liquid indicates that on Mars there were conditions for the development of life, similar to the terrestrial.
On the other hand, organic microelementscould get to the planet from space, with asteroids that often collide with its surface, as many craters say. Therefore, it is safe to say that water found on Mars, suitable for drinking, is not yet available.
The mystery of underground caves has yet to be solved,The best scientists of the world break down their minds. But the discovery of the holes in the photo, the holes on the surface of Mars, in which the water could once go, suggests its presence deep in the caves.
Is it possible to colonize Mars?
Studies of the Red Planet continue. Surely there are still many places where on Mars water, and perhaps biological life in the form of bacteria, exists. To make searches more effective, it would be nice to send a research expedition to the planet, but so far this idea is at the planning stage.
To fly to Mars, you need a little lessof the year. Cosmonauts will be deprived of amenities, limited in movement, can not wash, and they will need to eat only canned food. A person can not stay in a closed space for a long time. It threatens with insomnia, prolonged depression and other nervous disorders.
While so long in space, man is not yetwas due to the danger of loss of muscle, as well as bone tissue under the influence of artificially created gravity. The maximum period of the cosmonaut's stay on board the ISS is half a year.
The first colonizers will not be able to have children,the effect of radiation has a harmful effect on the composition of sperm. Also, radiation will not allow to be on the surface without a spacesuit, can become the culprit of the development of unknown to terrestrial science diseases.
Though theoretically the colonization of the planet is possible,but in order to take the first steps towards achieving the goal, long-term studies of the planet, the development of new equipment for a successful flight to it and effective ways to circumvent the destructive effect of Mars on man are needed.