Mars Hydrogen Escaped Due To High-Altitude Liquid Water

Posted: Feb 6 2017, 8:42am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Mars Hydrogen Escaped due to High-Altitude Liquid Water
Hydrogen in Mars’ upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars’ upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape. Photo Courtesy of NASA/GSFC; CU/LASP
  • Atmospheric Escape of Hydrogen from Mars Induced by High-Altitude Liquid Water

High altitude water caused the escape of atomic hydrogen from Mars

Study shows that Mars lost its water features due to atmospheric changes caused by atomic hydrogen and oxygen that left the upper surface to the space.

Research showed that the water molecules reached the middle part of the planet in summers and then broke, causing the large amount of hydrogen escape to space within few weeks.

The study published in the journal, Nature Geoscience that contradicts an old study that hydrogen escape was slow. Scientists explained the difference that happened due to seasonal changes.

According to the standard models H and O escape with a ratio of 2:1,because H reaches through hydrogen in the upper atmosphere, and its excess is balanced by photo chemicals feedback that is sensitive to oxygen.

The escape rates are not consistent, because H escapes in certain seasons that need to have some other source than H2. Water is the best source that exists in the high altitudes as observed by Mars Express spacecraft in different seasons.

Researchers used a one dimensional model of photo chemicals that was dependent on time. Scientists found that high altitude water caused the excessive escape of Hwithin the weeks. Such huge H escape causes the H-loss without getting balanced by O escape, affecting the oxidation of atmosphere for decades.

Water loss on mars might be affected by this process that controlled the chemistry of the whole atmosphere. The research focuses on the influence of seasonal changes in the atmosphere on Martian history.

LASP planetary scientists, Justin Deighan, Nick Schneider and Ian Stewart coauthored the study. Research scientists are glad that they made such a remarkable discovery.

But, scientists want to do more studies to explore Martian atmosphere. NASA’s huge budget is spent on reaching different planets of the solar systems.

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