Solar Wind and Radiation:The Cause Behind The Disappearance Of Oceans and Continens in Mars [Video]By Eleanor Bright, UniversityHerald Reporter
Solar wind and radiation caused oceans and continents to disappear from Mars, a recent study revealed. Results of the study were used for an artist's rendition of Mars billions of years ago. The image was
The art work featured Mars looking highly similar to Earth today. It had air, land and water. Such an environment could have easily supported life.
Today, the image of the Red Planet is that of a barren desert. What was left of its oceans and seas were just physical formation indicating what it used to be. Minerals that could only have come from these bodies of water had been detected, according to Express.
To find out what really happened to Mars, NASA's Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe was sent into orbit around the Red Planet. It investigated the upper atmosphere of the planet and its ionosphere. Based on what MAVEN discovered, solar wind and radiation had caused the gases present in the atmosphere to be lost to space as solar wind constantly blew from the surface of the sun.
As the atmospheric gases went up into space, the atmosphere became thinner and thinner. Under thin atmosphere, water boiled easily until everything dried up. The barren and desert-like surface of Mars was the result of the drying up of the bodies of water.
The team that studied Mars proved that indeed, atmospheric gas was lost in space. They measured the presence of argon because it does not easily react with other gases. Based on measurements made, the Red Planet had already lost almost 66 percent of this gas disappeared from the atmosphere of the Red Planet since it formed, according to CBS News.
It was believed that the loss of atmospheric gas was the main reason for the changes that happened to the Red Planet. If this happened to Mars, it could have happened to other planets as well.