Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mars had an atmosphere?

Everybody knows that Mars is that dusty old planet uninhabited save by the thoughts and dreams of science fiction writers. But the Mars of yesteryear may have been quite different.
Picture of Mars courtesy of the Curiosity rover 
In recent studies by the mars rover Curiosity, it has come to light that Mars may have been a water-filled utopia with a thick atmosphere, much like Earth is today.  Now, it is a rocky waste very similar to the lava fields in Hawaii. How did this happen you ask? Well over time, the upper atmosphere of Mars was slowly "eroded" away into space, and the water and water vapor presumably went with it.

This would be a terrible fate to befall the Earth, but our atmosphere has been holding strong for millions of years. Our atmosphere is characterized by gasses that are much harder to drift off into space, so I wouldn't start worrying and buying canned air just yet.

Delicious Perri-Air
-Colin Downs

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