Although there was clear evidence that water was on the surface of Mars at the time, it was not known how this water disappeared and where it went. The answer to this mystery can be hidden in sandstorms.
The dust occupies an important place in Mars missions. NASA must understand how often the dust particles fill the atmosphere and how the astronauts will land down before the astronauts land on the planet.
The dust storm that occurred in Mars in the summer of 2018 closed the Sun for weeks and caused the Opportunity vehicle to remain out of service. At the same time, this sandstorm offered an unprecedented opportunity. On the surface of Mars, 8 spacecraft watched a sandstorm for the first time.
Scientists from all over the world are still looking at the data. However, the first reports show how huge sandstorms affect the planet’s antique water, wind, climate, and how it will affect future weather.
Sandstorms are quite common in Mars. Even the first sandstorm on the red planet was screened in 1971 with the Mariner 9 spacecraft. From that day on, the enormous sandstorms were observed twice in 1997, in 1982, 1994, 2001, 2007 and 2018.
Scientists have many proofs that there are rivers, lakes and even oceans billions of years ago. Drying river beds, ancient coastlines and the salty surface of the planet are the greatest evidence that there was once water on the planet. So, how and why did this water disappear? NASA’s Mars water expert Geronimo Villanueva thinks that global sandstorms can answer this question.
Villanueva and her colleagues, ESA and Roscosmos, worked to prove that powerful global sandstorms have increased water vapor to higher altitudes (80 km) than should be. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter tool had observed a similar phenomenon in 2007 as well.
Global sandstorms interfered with the planet’s water cycle, preventing H2O from condensing and falling back into the surface. H2O, rain, and snow on the surface of the world fall back to the process may be the same billions of years ago was the same, Mars.
At high altitudes, where the Mars atmosphere is particularly rare, solar radiation can easily penetrate into water molecules and fly its components into space. Villanueva and her colleagues said in a review published in Nature on April 10th, they found evidence of rising water vapor using ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
Wind hoses are a very common natural phenomenon on Mars and it is also very useful to remove dust accumulated in solar-powered space vehicles. One of NASA’s atmospheric scientists, Scott Guzewich, says understanding the impact of global sandstorms on wind hoses is crucial to future Mars missions.