• Server Outage Announcement

    Hello, Everyone.
    We will be installing an update to XenForo (the forums software), and doing some server maintenance.
    Consequently, the forums will be unavailable from about 12 - 2 MDT / 2 - 4 EDT / 6 - 8 GMT on Sunday 9th May 2021.

Water On Mars

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
22,126
Reaction score
31,950
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Newly published research suggests brines may not be as widespread as previously believed. If true, this could have a major impact on planning for future Mars missions and the prospects for eventual Mars colonization.
Water on Mars not as widespread as previously thought, study finds

Water on Mars, in the form of brines, may not be as widespread as previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.

Researchers combined data on brine evaporation rates, collected through experiments at the center's Mars simulation chamber, with a global weather circulation model of the planet to create planetwide maps of where brines are most likely to be found. ...

The scientists took all major phase changes of liquids into account -- freezing, boiling and evaporation - instead of just a single phase, as has commonly been the approach in the past, said Vincent Chevrier, associate professor and first author of a study published in The Planetary Science Journal. ...

"It is looking at all the properties at the same time, instead of one at a time," said Chevrier. "Then we build maps taking into account all those processes simultaneously."

Doing so indicates that previous studies may have overestimated how long brines remain on the surface in the cold, thin and arid Martian atmosphere, Chevrier said. "The most important conclusion is that if you do not take all these processes together, you always overestimate the stability of brines. That is the reality of the situation."

Favorable conditions for stable brines on the planet's surface are most likely to be present in mid- to high-northern latitudes, and in large impact craters in the southern hemisphere, he said. In the shallow subsurface, brines might be present near the equator. ...
FULL STORY:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-12/uoa-wom121020.php

PUBLISHED REPORT:
Global Temporal and Geographic Stability of Brines on Present-day Mars
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/abbc14
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
52,219
Reaction score
27,797
Points
309
Location
Eblana
Possible good news for future colonists.

By Earth standards, the surface of Mars is the picture of desolation.

It's not only irradiated and cold enough to make Antarctica look balmy, but it's also one-thousands times drier than the driest places on Earth. However, beneath the super-arid surface of the Red Planet, there are abundant supplies of water ice that could someday be accessible to human explorers (and even settlers).

This is especially the case in the mid-latitude region known as Arcadia Planitia, a smooth plain located in Martian northern lowlands. According to new research conducted with support from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the region shows signs of glaciers and glacier activity. These findings could prove very useful for the future human landings and exploration of Mars, not to mention potential settlement.

The study, which recently appeared in the scientific journal Icarus, was led by Shannon Hibbard—a Ph.D. candidate in geology and planetary science at the University of Western Ontario (UWO). She was joined by Dr. Gordon R. Osinski of UWO's Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (IESE), and Etienne Godin, a data scientist at the Center for Northern Studies at Laval University; and Nathan Williams and Matthew Golombek of NASA JPL. ...

https://phys.org/news/2021-05-mid-latitude-glaciers-mars-human-explorers.html
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
22,126
Reaction score
31,950
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here's some more info on what may be ice flows (analogous to thinly-buried glaciers) in the Arcadia Planitia region.
Possible new type of glacier just discovered on Mars

A potential Mars landing site might be underlain by debris-covered glaciers.

Strange sinuous features on a flat plain known as Arcadia Planitia bear a striking resemblance to ice streams within ice sheets in Antarctica, a new study finds. If these shallowly covered glaciers do, in fact, exist, they could be a reason to direct future crewed missions to Mars toward the region. The spot was already intriguing to SpaceX and NASA because it is a broad, flat plain, which is ideal for landing spacecraft. If there is ice not too deep below the surface of the plain, astronauts could also have a water source easily at hand.

The newfound flow-like features are strange because they occur on flat terrain ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/mars-arcadia-planitia-glaciers.html
 
Top