Believe or Not: Mars Had An Ocean Bigger Than The Arctic
Our infatuation with Mars has no limits. Human race has spent trillions of dollars just to know more about the red planet. I never understood, why Mars? But the latest information that came to light regarding Mars is actually quite fascinating.
Did you know? Mars once hosted an ocean bigger than the Arctic. Scientists reached this conclusion after a ground-based analysis of water in Mars’ atmosphere. A team headed by Geronimo Villanueva from NASA, not only determined that Mars had a bigger ocean than Arctic, but also figured out how much water it had. Villanueva said:
Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space. With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars.
The ocean existed on Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and in volume, was 20 million cubic kilometers. That’s 2 million cubic kilometers more than the Arctic, which stands at 18 million cubic kilometers.
If the figure is to be believed, that means the ocean enough covered the entire planet. But that doesn’t mean Mars was just a massive ocean with no dry surface at all. According to the researchers, it’s likely that the ocean covered most of the low Northern Plains of the red planet. Northern plains reach the depth of 1 mile at places.
Ultimately we can conclude this idea of an ocean covering 20% of the planet which opens the idea of habitability and the evolution of life on the planet.
The huge amount of water remained on the planet for million of years. However, over time the atmosphere of Mars thinned, with that the pressure dropped. Water started to waft into space, while the planet kept losing its insulation as well.
Mars wasn’t warm enough and water eventually receded. Today, only 13% of the ocean in question remains frozen in the polar ice caps of the planet.
NASA previously found that Mars was wet for around 1.5 billion years, which is longer than it took for life to develop of Earth. There new findings indicate that water existed for an even longer period of time.
Does this mean Mars once had life? We weren’t the only ones in this galaxy?