Here on the third planet from the sun, we have plenty of water, and a good thing too. Few plants, animals, humans or other creatures can live without it. It’s the very reason our planet is so hospitable and why we look for water as a basis for life on other planets such as Mars.
Scientists believe that the Red Planet once contained water. However, the lack of this liquid has left the planet a cold and barren desert, bereft of life.
Why Mars Cannot Sustain Life Anymore
We know that the machines scientists have sent to the surface and orbit of the fourth planet from the Sun have failed to locate liquid water (although, ice is another thing). Researchers suspect that these two worlds started out much the same. Because of this, some are even more eager to find out why Mars turned out an arid planet.
According to a recently published paper, the minerals within the crusts of the two planets are different enough to create a drastic difference. This becomes especially true when considering the billions of years a planet has to develop.
“Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 percent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 percent by volume of Earth’s mantle,” claim the researchers.
On Earth, water on the ground can evaporate back into the atmosphere, only to return once more as precipitation. This isn’t so for Mars, where humanity hopes to one day step foot.
Instead of dehydrating, Martian rocks retained their wanted content. In fact, researchers think that the basalt rocks on the planet’s surface and within its crust still contain as much as 25% more water than similar rocks on Earth. This might be due to the iron content of the planet.
If all of Earth’s water were contained in spongey rocks, it would undoubtedly have a different appearance from the pale blue dot that we’re accustomed to, perhaps one similar to Mars. Life as we know it would also not exist if it weren’t for this water anyway.
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