NOV 12, 2015 05:17 AM PST
Solar Winds Have Made Mars Cold and Dry
2 7 896

NASA's mission to explore the atmosphere and evolution of the climate on Mars reported some startling information this week. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) team reported that at one time Mars was probably a warm, wet planet much more capable of sustaining life. In a press release, MAVEN principal investigator at the University of Colorado Bruce Jakosky said MAVEN measurements indicated that the solar winds were stripping gas away from the planet at a high rate, leaving it dry and cold. "Like the theft of a few coins from a cash register every day, the loss becomes significant over time. We've seen that the atmospheric erosion increases significantly during solar storms, so we think the loss rate was much higher billions of years ago when the sun was young and more active."

It wasn't just storms from ancient history either. MAVEN found that in March of 2015 a series of intense storms hit the planet and accelerated the loss even further. The solar winds, full of protons and electrons, are coming at Mars from three different directions. The relentless barrage has made the planet cold and unlikely to support life.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAY 06, 2018
Videos
MAY 06, 2018
Here's What Happens When You Get Struck by Lightning
Many people share the common fear of being struck by lightning in a thunderstorm, and for good reasons. But have you ever stopped to think about what reall
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
What happens when an astronaut drops something in space?
This is the story of a spatula that became a satellite. A spatula that got untethered from the astronaut that it was on only to go whizzing off into orbit
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Why the US still uses Fahrenheit
The US is one of the only countries still using the Imperial System of measurement, which includes our wacky Fahrenheit temperature scale as well as gallon
MAY 24, 2018
Videos
MAY 24, 2018
E-cigarette Flavoring Disrupts Lung Cells
E-cigarette users may not know that what they are inhaling has probably not been tested to see what health effects it has. New research has indicated that
MAY 27, 2018
Videos
MAY 27, 2018
Bald Eagle and Fox Fight for Prey in Mid-Air
Imagine you're a fox and you just scored an excellent rabbit dinner. Now, imagine a bald eagle swooping down from above and attempting to steal your prey r
JUN 11, 2018
Videos
JUN 11, 2018
This is What Happens to the Body After Death
Death can be a taboo topic that most people don’t like discussing, but there’s undoubtedly a scientific interest in what happens to the body af
Loading Comments...