Mars and it's loss of H2O

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dryson

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I was thinking about this earlier today and have come up with a valid reason to why Mars lost all of it's water and life. First I will being using the Earth as the example. We know that Earth has life and has water. We also know that the Moon orbits the Earth and pulls on the Earth's water sources all around the world. We also know that as the Moon orbits the Earth it pulls the water that is in it's gravitational field with it thus causing the water to be aerated. The three definitions provided below are the functions as it relates to gravity being a force of influence upon another state of matter, the state of matter being H2O in it's liquid state.

1. To supply with air or expose to the circulation of water: aerate water.
2. To expose to oxygen, as in the oxygenation of the ocean by aeration.
3. To supply or charge (liquid) with a gas, especially to charge with carbon dioxide

1. As the gravity moves around the Earth, it causes the Hydrogen and Oxygen to remain in a random motion that does not allow for the atoms to settle.A body at rest tends to stay at rest, a body in motion tends to remain in motion.
We know that in order for a water source to provide life for the creatures to survive within the water source, a pond,lake or ocean, these water sources must be continually aerated. This aeration comes in three forms, gravity pulling on the H2O as the Moon orbits the Earth fresh water sources running into another water source that stirs the water up and the core of the Earth that produces a strong enough EM force that helps aid the aeration of Earths water sources. This agitation of the water creates new H2O for the creatures of the water source to use as well as carrying the H2O to soil where the Oxygen rich H2O is then used by plants and animals to replenish their systems.

We can see the effect that the moons gravity has on the Earth everyday. This can be proven by looking at a lake and watching the small waves as they race across the surface of the pond, lake or ocean. These waves are created by the above two mentioned sources of aeration, the Moon's gravity and the core of the Earth's magnetic field. These two effects placed upon the H2O of Earth create a continual agitation on all of the water sources across the entire planet.

We also know that if a water source does not receive a fresh supply of running water it will eventually dry up regardless of how much gravity is forcing it's influence against the H2O atoms of the water source. When a body of water becomes stagnant like this, the result is that the life living in the body of water is no longer receiving a fresh supply of oxygen. This has the result of the larger creatures that require the most oxygen dieing off first until all of the creatures that consume the most oxygen have died leaving behind those creatures that only need a minute of H2O to survive.The death chart for this would go like this, with the first creature listed dieing first due to the lack of oxygen down to the smallest creature that can survive on the smallest amount of oxygen. Humpback Whale ----> Great White Shark -------> Dolphin -------> Salmon ------> Large Mouth Bass ---->Perch ------> Minnow -------> Sea Snail ------> Sea Microbial Life. Once the stagnation has occurred the cycle of life has been interrupted thus causing a ecological breakdown for the entire body of water. The Moon's gravity is an important role in the aeration of the Earths bodies of water as well as keeping the oxygen and other gases in the atmosphere circulating. If the moon was not present these gases would cease to circulate and would cause the same ecological breakdown as was described above. This would be the part ....a body in motion tends to stay in motion, in this case gravity creating an aerated force of influence on a body of water necessary for the existence and continued survivability of life on a planet.

Now onto Mars. What does Mars not have that Earth does? A Moon. Perhaps at one time there was life on Mars maybe just as abundant as life is here on Earth but because of the fact that there is no moon present to create of gravitational force of influence, then the gases in the atmosphere would not have been violent enough to cause erosion's of the Martian surface to allow the Martian bodies of water to run new courses where they would empty into other bodies of water creating agitated aeration that would have created a continuous source of new oxygen for the creatures to survive. The lack of aeration would have also have found it's way to the floral and fauna that the land creatures would have fed off of with the omnivores feeding off of both of these sources of food. The missing moon would also have continuously aerated the Martian bodies of water in the same way that our Moon tug and pulls on Earth's bodies of water. The lack of the gravity generated by the moon not being present would also have had the effect of shaping and molding the sub-surface geography under the oceans and other Martian bodies of water. When the gravity creates a wave and the wave moves the sand pebbles on the bottom or near the shore line. This erosion then causes a portion of the shoreline or even portions of the bed of the body of water to collapse creating a new force of influence that the gases under the force of gravitational influence from the moon as well encounter and further add to the erosion. When the smallest amount of matter slides into the body of water it agitates the water causing new oxygen to be made. On Earth this process is occurring at ever half Planck second of the day. But on Mars, where there is no moon to provide this gravitational force of influence the bodies of water would have become stagnant. The water would have just layed there in it's lakes and oceans. The life contained within these bodies of water would have not gotten any bigger then maybe a Large Mouth Bass or Tuna. These creatures would have aerated the bodies of water for maybe a few millions of years, but without a constant supply of fresh water agitating their bodies of water, they would have slowly died out. This is because they would taken the most oxygen out of the water. This coupled with the larger creatures feeding on the smaller creatures that survive on even smaller forms of life brought about by a continuous supply of fresh oxygenated water would have killed off the Martian life at double the rate. With this little bit of aeration gone, any plant life would have consumed the remaining oxygen in the water. The Sun would have also been a major killer of Mars as well. As the stagnant bodies of water became void of life, the sun would have slowly evaporated the water into the Martian atmosphere. Without the moon present the water vapors would have continued out into space. This is because the gravitational force of the moon orbiting Mars would have also forced the evaporating water to blend with the other gases of Mars that would create a cloud layer and wind patterns that would keep the gases moving at faster then light speed velocity. This force would then have created water that would then have rained back down on Mars thus replenishing the water source and keeping Mars fresh with new oxygen created by the aerated agitation of the force of gravitational influence of a moon being present.This would be the part ....a body rest tends to stay at rest, in this case gravity is not creating an aerated force of influence on a body of water necessary for the existence and continued survivability of life on a planet.

So why did Mars lose all of its water and possibility to support life like Earth does? Because Mars does not have a moon to create an opposing force of gravitation force of influence that aids in the aeration of the gases necessary to sustain life.
 
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aphh

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Actually most of the water Mars once had must still be there somwhere and in some form. Most likely buried underground.

Earth's gravity can hold atoms and molecules heavier than Helium, which has the mass of 2 protons. We are leaking our Helium out in space. If we consider simply the force of gravity, which on Mars is about 1/3rd of Earth's gravity, in theory Mars should be able to hold atoms and molecules roughly three times as massive as Helium atom.

Water is one oxygen atom plus two hydrogen atoms, thus having 10 protons and 8 neutrons = 18 molecule weight. Mars gravity should be able to hold those molecules down.

Unless some other force or factor was at play, like solar wind etc., most of the water that Mars once had should still be there in the form of ice and crystallized into soil. Water was not blown away from Mars, unlike lighter elements. It just went hiding.

Here is a link that explains the dynamics nicely: http://www.astronomynotes.com/solarsys/s3.htm
 
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eburacum45

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One reason that water has disappeared from Mars is photolysis. UV rays from the Sun break water up into hydrogen and oxygen; on Mars the escape velocity is low enough for hydrogen to escape, leaving oxygen which bonds with the Martian crust.

But solar wind sputtering events after the loss of Mars' magnetosphere probably caused the greater part of Mars' hydrosphere loss. Hopefully a large proportion of the hydrosphere is still there, in frozen form; I wouldn't count on that underground reservoir until it is definitely confirmed, however.
 
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3488

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eburacum45":1q7gtkxp said:
One reason that water has disappeared from Mars is photolysis. UV rays from the Sun break water up into hydrogen and oxygen; on Mars the escape velocity is low enough for hydrogen to escape, leaving oxygen which bonds with the Martian crust.

But solar wind sputtering events after the loss of Mars' magnetosphere probably caused the greater part of Mars' hydrosphere loss. Hopefully a large proportion of the hydrosphere is still there, in frozen form; I wouldn't count on that underground reservoir until it is definitely confirmed, however.
Hi eburacum45.

That is correct. The collapse of the global magnetosphere & Mars's relatively small size & mass, together allowed the solar wind to strip away the atmosphere, leaving behind the very thin one today.

It is the same density typically at the Martian Aeroid, Martian counterpart to Earth's sea level, as Earth's atmosphere is at 30 KM / 19 miles above sea level.

This alone would have sublimated the vast majority of surface water, but as you say, before this point, much may well have frozen underground, of which the Phoenix Mars Lander actually may have sampled a tiny amount.

The cooling & partial solidification of the Martian core (the core seems to be partially molten, based on rotational tracking of the Mars Pathfinder, MERs & Mars Phoenix Lander) killed off any convection, this leading to the collapse of the global magnetosphere. Hense any large bodies of surface water had a very short shelf life post this point.

Other contributory factors included the waning of volcanic activity, thus atmospheric replenishment also ceased. Also Mars lacks a large moon to stabilise the rotational axis. I could imagine that when Olympus Mons & the other giant Tharsis & Elysium volanoes were active, Mars's atmosphere could well have been quite dense, with a powerful greenhouse effect with all of that C02 & water vapour easily supporting large bodies of liquid water. When all this ceased, Mars IIRC was on a path to the current state.

Phobos & Deimos (possible captured small Type D asteroids) are simply far, far too small to accomplish this.

Andrew Brown.
 
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silylene

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While not disagreeing with Andrew's comments , I also want to point out that Mars suffered a lot of big asteroid strikes throughout its history (Hellas basin, for example). These strikes certainly helped strip off the original Martian atmosphere, especially given Mar's relatively weak gravity. As the core partially solidified, and the crust thickened and volcanism slowed, repleneshment of lost gases slowed significantly.
 
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dryson

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It also has to do with the fact that Mars core is not molten but is more solid. This creates less gravity to hold the atmosphere to the planet. This can be seen by just looking at the Moon. The Moons core is solid and produces less gravity.
So the same can be said to be true about Mars. Mars would also have had need a moon of it's own to help create a pressure of gravity back upon the Martian atmosphere to help keep the gases in as well.
 
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jumlum

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Water on mars is still present but underground even though much of the water that may have been in the pass is gone and may be here on earth. At the same time mars small mass and lack of gravity would allow meteorite impact, solar winds or gamma ray wave large enough. Could heat the planet surface enough to vapourize much of the surface water and killed all life forms living on the surface.
 
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MeteorWayne

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dryson":3bk7d7eu said:
It also has to do with the fact that Mars core is not molten but is more solid. This creates less gravity to hold the atmosphere to the planet. This can be seen by just looking at the Moon. The Moons core is solid and produces less gravity.
So the same can be said to be true about Mars. Mars would also have had need a moon of it's own to help create a pressure of gravity back upon the Martian atmosphere to help keep the gases in as well.
This is not correct. It makes no difference whether the core is solid or liquid; it has the same mass which is what creates the gravity.

The difference it does make, is that witha solid core there is no magnetosphere, so the solar wind is not deflected away, but rather reaches right down to the surface.
 
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3488

Guest
That's very true Wayne.

A molten or solid core will have the same mass assuming the same composition regardless of what state it is in.

A diiferentiated core has a slightly different gravity well signature, hense the detection of the dual layered core of the giant Jupiter moon Ganymede (obtained through several close passes of the Galileo Spacecraft) & now also most likely Mercury too (based on the two close encounters with MESSENGER to date).

Earth's was detected using seismic waves.

Certainly a molten core if convecting will produce a magnetosphere, Mercury, Earth, Ganymede being prime examples. Other bodies may also have molten cores, like Venus, Jupiter moons Io & Europa & Mars may actually have a partially molten core (well on the way to solidification), but if the cores are NOT convecting, then despite their potentially molten states, will not generate magnetospheres.

Also what is apparent, that Mercury, Earth & Ganymede also have internally driven magnetospheres, & all three are thought to pocess dual layered cores, a link perhaps (something Mars lacks).

Andrew Brown.
 
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yevaud

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MeteorWayne":d2xjtnr3 said:
The difference it does make, is that witha solid core there is no magnetosphere, so the solar wind is not deflected away, but rather reaches right down to the surface.
Ah, it doesn't exactly make it all of the way to the surface; interaction with the atmosphere would make that nearly impossible. But yes, a lack of Geomagnetic field is a real problem in retaining an atmosphere.
 
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xXTheOneRavenXx

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I have been thinking about this for a while, and perhaps one of you may be able to give an explanation. Some Meteor's on Earth have been found that were believed to have originated from Mars, blasted off Mar's surface by some sort of impact, and drifted around space for a few million years before crashing in Earth as these Meteor's. If this were the case, and Mar's is believed to have had substantually more water in it's past... isn't it safe to say that we should be able to have detected traces of this water in these meteor's?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Probably not, Raven. Despite Mars' lower gravity, the energy required to launch a rock to beyond escape velocity is quite high, i.e. very hot. This would certainly evaporate (or sublimate) all the water, and possibl;y modify any water bearing minerals as well.
 
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xXTheOneRavenXx

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I took a read of the article yevaud. To me it sound like they are looking for a bio-marker rather then the rock formation itself. Like sedimentary rock forms from sediments, etc... They type of rock inside the meteor. Even exposed to the harsh coditions of space, and the blast from being blown from the Mars surface wouldn't change the kind of rock it is, just heating, melting or even carbonizing it's surface maybe. If a rock was formed in a water exposed environment wouldn't that be reflected in its actual composition? Maybe, maybe some traces of water erosion within it's layers could exist?
 
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yevaud

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That's part of the controversy/debate. No doubt you recollect the infamous Martian Meteors found in Antarctica several years ago? The divergence of opinions was whether the possible markers found were strictly geological in origin, or indicative of primitive life, hence water. Can't have one without the other, after all.

As Wayne said, it's unlikely you'd find water trapped within, due to the intense heat of ejection/reentry/impact. Even weathering due to the effects of water are unlikely - they'd be ablated right away. So there are few markers to look for, except perhaps (as with the above example) primitive organisms. Direct evidence is highly unlikely.
 
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xXTheOneRavenXx

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lol, you hit the nail on the head when you mention the Martian Meteors found in Antarctica. That was the example I was using. No, no, I didn't think there would be any preserved water, but just solely based upon the structure or even maybe the type of rock itself. (i.e sedimentary, igneous, etc...) I just thought that there would still be structual patterns within the rock that would be preserved even with the blast that would show if it were made in a martian water exposed environment. Kind of like a Martian Basalt, neptunian rock, etc... (a rock formed via underwater volcanic activity, not the planet Neptune). I know it's a huge long shot, but if such a martian meteor structure was found to be basalt, neptunian, etc... in formation then would this not prove large quantities of water on the martian surface millions of years ago? Since the rocks found in the Antarctic were believe to have floated around space for a few million years. If volcanic activity did not exist underwater on Mars, then perhaps lava flows being exposed to water creating neptunian rock could be used as a marker as evidence for water existing on the martian surface at the time.
 
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tampaDreamer

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3488":klah4msy said:
eburacum45":klah4msy said:
One reason that water has disappeared from Mars is photolysis. UV rays from the Sun break water up into hydrogen and oxygen; on Mars the escape velocity is low enough for hydrogen to escape, leaving oxygen which bonds with the Martian crust.

But solar wind sputtering events after the loss of Mars' magnetosphere probably caused the greater part of Mars' hydrosphere loss. Hopefully a large proportion of the hydrosphere is still there, in frozen form; I wouldn't count on that underground reservoir until it is definitely confirmed, however.
Hi eburacum45.

That is correct. The collapse of the global magnetosphere & Mars's relatively small size & mass, together allowed the solar wind to strip away the atmosphere, leaving behind the very thin one today.

It is the same density typically at the Martian Aeroid, Martian counterpart to Earth's sea level, as Earth's atmosphere is at 30 KM / 19 miles above sea level.

This alone would have sublimated the vast majority of surface water, but as you say, before this point, much may well have frozen underground, of which the Phoenix Mars Lander actually may have sampled a tiny amount.

The cooling & partial solidification of the Martian core (the core seems to be partially molten, based on rotational tracking of the Mars Pathfinder, MERs & Mars Phoenix Lander) killed off any convection, this leading to the collapse of the global magnetosphere. Hense any large bodies of surface water had a very short shelf life post this point.

Other contributory factors included the waning of volcanic activity, thus atmospheric replenishment also ceased. Also Mars lacks a large moon to stabilise the rotational axis. I could imagine that when Olympus Mons & the other giant Tharsis & Elysium volanoes were active, Mars's atmosphere could well have been quite dense, with a powerful greenhouse effect with all of that C02 & water vapour easily supporting large bodies of liquid water. When all this ceased, Mars IIRC was on a path to the current state.

Phobos & Deimos (possible captured small Type D asteroids) are simply far, far too small to accomplish this.

Andrew Brown.
So strangely enough, perhaps the best way to terraform mars would be to provide it with a moon whose mass leads to a similar ratio to the earth:luna ratio?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
No, it's too late for that. Mars' core is pretty much solid now...
 
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3488

Guest
MeteorWayne":1imfnsg3 said:
No, it's too late for that. Mars' core is pretty much solid now...
Defininately Wayne, Mars is far too far past the point of no return in that respect.

The core is largely solid, there is some evidence of there being some liquidity, but really its as good as a solid core regarding kick starting a new magnetosphere.

Interesting thought exercise,

Regarding a proportionaly massed moon in orbit around Mars.

Lets see, Mars has what, approx 10.8% the mass of the Earth, so in proportion we would need a 10.8% massed moon.

Where do we get that from? Forget the four Jovian Galileans, they are all far too massive, even ice covered Europa, the least massive of them @ 67% moon mass, Volcanic Io is 22% more massive than the moon, or approx double Europa's mass, Ganymede & Callisto, more so again. Callisto approx 85% more massive & Ganymede just over two moon masses.

Saturn's moons. Titan is approx 92% more massive than the moon (funnily Titan slips in almost equally between Jupiter's Ganymede & Callisto), the others are far too small, even if rolled up into one larger moon, would come in at less then 10.8% moon mass.

Uranus's moons, also do not figure, not nearly enough mass there to make up 10.8% moon mass.

However the closest matches to the desired figure I can find are the Neptune moon Triton, approx 23% moon mass, Dwarf Planet Eris at approx 20% moon mass & Dwarf Planet Pluto at approx 16% moon mass.

So Triton is double what we would be looking for, Eris nearly double & Pluto still nearly 60% over what we are looking for. Difficult one, but an interesting thought exercise.

Andrew Brown.
 
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xXTheOneRavenXx

Guest
Good morning 3488,

I have watched some shows about the Genesis Project for Mars. This project was a start to finish on how we could terra-form Mars back into a living planet. They discussed it in these stages:

Stage 1: Robotics designed to sample many regions of Mars (much like we are doing now) to find the best locations for self-contained habitable modules that could remain on Mars, and analyze minerals. The first human would remain in these modules, and astronauts could venture out and do research from them.

Stage 2: Mining pods would be slowly launched to various locations on the martian surface. These pods would be self extracting. Once landing on the surface much like the rovers did. The miner pods would be used grind surface material to cause dust to be kicked up into the atmosphere from their various locations, eventually kick-starting the beginning stages of a greenhouse affect. (More can be discussed on fueling for these pods. The show did not go into that much detail in this perspective). Also as these miner pods kicked up dust, they also release oxygen that is believe to be locked up in metal-oxides on the surface.

Stage 3: After about 100-200yrs of miner pods extracting dust from the Mars surface, it is believed (according to the show) there would be enough atmosphere to small planet formations, such as a fungous type planet that could only be found on the higher mountain ranges on earth could survive on Mars at this point.

Stage 4: It would take many centuries for the mountain fongous to take hold before the atmosphere would be strong enough to supposed moss and other smaller plant-like formations. But would be part of the final stage of the terra-forming.

If this were not possible, and the core of Mars were too far gone at this point... then I am sure none of this would be possible. It would be a hell of a greenhouse affect to try to reverse the cores solidification. Does anyone else remember seeing this show? At the time it was believed to be possible. David Suzuki also talked about it on a show he did as well. Discovery Channel broadcast the tera-forming in a fair bit of detail. Just leaving out how the mining pods would be fueled. But did mention how solar energy could be used for the later developed contained human habitates. The habitates would have been expanded from being just modules over time. Once the first habitate was finished, solar energy could be used to help life support systems, etc... to all humans to stay on the surface longer.


Not a back article also found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars to which the show also touched on many of these points as well. Though various plans for Mars terra-forming were covered on the show and do exist, it was strongly pointed out that it is merely hypothetical by researches, but may still be within out technological capabilities. Just the economy at this time could not afford such an undertaking. Though rising population on Earth may eventually force it.
 
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