1.5k share, 312 points

At Least 150,000 Tons of Frost Found on Mars Tallest Volcanoes

Subsequently, recent studies indicate that water frost, which scientists once thought could not exist on Mars, has been discovered on the volcanoes within the Tharsis region. This is a discovery that questions past assumptions about the existence of water on the Red Planet.

An illustration of Olympus Mons, the largest known volcano in the solar system. Mars may have a mantle plume that’s fueling its earthquakes and recent volcanism. (Image credit: SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images)

Frost has been observed in a form that is thinner than hair on top of these mountainous equatorial volcanoes. These volcanoes are larger than any other on any other planet in the solar system and are three times taller than Mount Everest. This amount doubles during colder months and could reach 150,000 tons of water or 60 Olympic swimming pools.

Frost was considered not forming in the Mars’ equatorial zone due to the presence of sun light and the thinned atmosphere that is able to warm Mars during the day. This is quite the opposite of what is seen on Earth where most of the peaks are somewhat covered by frost. Adomas Valantinas, the first author of the study who is a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University, pointed out that the frost forms at night on the mountaintops and evaporates under the heat of the sun in the morning.

They stated that this finding is critical to explaining the presence of water on Mars and may be useful for future human exploration. The outcomes of the research were released in the British scientific journal Nature Geoscience on June, 10.

Mars is known to have frost or ice during its winter season, and the recent observation of ice is also credited to the European Space Agency’s TGO which have mapped out the red planet at dawn in true color. Subsequently, by reviewing thousands of pictures gathered by the spacecraft — some 30,000 at best count — the researchers managed to confirm the existence of this frost. Its look is like blue glowing rust that develops in such conditions as on Mont Blanc, in the lower areas of the Martian surface, where cool air rises to the top.

In the analysis by Valantinas, this feature could be indicative of one of the climate cycles of Mars consequently implying that water precipitation and possibly snow on the volcanoes of Mars was a possibility in the past. With the existence of the frost now set, Valantinas proceed in going deeper to study more about the Martian atmosphere, especially the old ax hydrothermal buried which could had provoked a good habitat for microbial life. The ideal plan is to obtain samples from these vents and transport these to the Earth for studies in line with what NASA’s Sample Return Mission envisions.

The curiosity rover which has been active since 2021 is a vehicle in the Martian Jezero crater and could already have collected samples of Mars’ dust and possibly even signs of microbial life. The space agency has formerly contemplated sending out a StratoSphere retriever mission in 2026; however, changes were made to reduce the agency’s expenses; thus, the targeted launch has shifted to 2040. They have to work quickly, and so right now the rocket group NASA is asking private companies to bid for contracts.

Looking at Valantinas’ narrative and concern with second genesis and life beyond Earth, it is crucial to point out that science fiction plays an essential role in developing such ideas. Christians still keep probing the existence of life on Mars and the possibility of touring Mars.

Do not forget to share your opinion with us to provide you with the best posts !

Like it? Share with your friends!

1.5k share, 312 points

What's Your Reaction?

Dislike Dislike
love love
omg omg
scary scary
wtf wtf


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *