2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:30
When NASA announced the discovery of liquid water on Mars, it was a real sensation. Since then, however, quite a few other impressive discoveries have been made, mostly by the general public.
What have you learned about Mars in recent years?
1) There is an impactite on Mars, in which life could be preserved. Impactite is a rock created as a result of the most powerful impact of a meteorite. On Earth, its largest deposits are located in Nevada and Tasmania. NASA discovered new deposits on Mars last year. Considering that organic matter has been preserved in the impactite from Argentina, it is possible that we will find something similar in the Martian rocks.
2) A comet against the magnetosphere of Mars. In September 2014, the MAVEN satellite entered Mars orbit. And after a couple of weeks, he caught a rare event - comet C / 2013 A1 flew incredibly close to the planet's surface, passing only 140 thousand km from it. At the same time, it badly damaged the already weak Martian magnetosphere, which is comparable to a short, but terribly powerful solar storm.
3) Iroquois of Mars. In 2013, MAVEN, an apparatus for studying the Martian atmosphere, was just launched. Later, on the basis of his readings, a computer simulation revealed a "mohawk" of charged particles "ripped" from the atmosphere by the solar wind from the red planet.
4) Harvest on Mars. One of the most important issues in the colonization of Mars is the possibility of growing food on it. According to scientists from Wageningen University, four terrestrial plants can easily take root there - tomatoes, radishes, rye and beans. The Dutch conducted research on soil that is as close as possible to that of Martian in composition.
5) Martian Morse Dunes. Mars rovers and probes have been studying the sands of Mars for quite some time, but recent photographs have caused some confusion among researchers. In February 2016, the station took a photo of the region with dunes resembling Morse code dots and dashes. While the “dash” can be easily explained by the strong wind, the origin of the “dots” is still unknown.
6) The mystery of the Martian minerals. One of the regions Curiosity surveyed in 2015, where a layer of sandstone rests on an argillite base, contained an incredible amount of silica - silicon oxide, the main component of rocks. To get this amount of silica, it would take water, a lot of water. And the very first sample taken in the zone discovered tridymite - the rarest mineral even on Earth.
7) White planet. It is curious that at one time on Mars, white prevailed over red. Namely - during the most severe ice age, worse than any that the Earth has experienced. With the help of radar capable of "shining through" the ground, astronomers studied the Martian poles and found that the ice age was there about 370 thousand years ago. In another 150 thousand, by the way, a new one is expected.
8) Underground volcanoes of Mars. Tridymite indicates that Mars has had significant volcanic activity in the past. MRO research also shows that volcanoes once erupted under the Martian ice. Specifically - in the Sisyphi Montes region, filled with mountains with flat peaks, reminiscent of the subglacial volcanoes of the Earth. Traces of minerals ejected during the eruption were also found there.
9) Huge tsunamis on ancient Mars. The latest research shows that the red planet not only had a real ocean, but also a tsunami of monstrous power. According to Alex Rodriguez, one of the scientists who proposed this theory, waves could rise to a height of 120 meters! True, only once every three million years.