Forget ice, Mars may have liquid water
Adding to the growing literature on possible life conditions on the Red Planet, new research from NASA-'s Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is...
London: Adding to the growing literature on possible life conditions on the Red Planet, new research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance calcium perchlorate has been found in the soil which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water - a brine.
Based on measurements of humidity and the temperature at a height of 1.6 metres and at the surface of the planet, scientists can estimate the amount of water that is absorbed. When night falls, some of the water vapour in the atmosphere condenses on the planet surface as frost. The soil is porous so what we are seeing is that the water seeps down through the soil. But most of this water has disappeared into space and the reason is that Mars no longer has global magnetic fields, which we have on the Earth. The magnetic field protects the Earth's atmosphere against degradation from energy rich particles from the Sun.