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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:10 AM

Giant Hole In Mars Atmosphere Responsible For Loss Of Water On Red Planet

14 May 2019, 11:42 pm EDT By Diane Samson Tech Times

The surface of Mars taken by the Curiosity rover. Mars was not always dry and barren;
it used to be a waterlogged world with rivers and lakes. ( NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

There is a hole in the atmosphere of Mars that opens up every two years and dumps water into outer space.

Previous observations have revealed that Mars has water vapor high in its atmosphere, but how it got there remains a mystery to scientists. Like Earth, the Red Planet has a middle layer in its atmosphere that serves as a barrier to prevent gas from rising even further.

"The Martian middle atmosphere is too cold to sustain water vapor," the researchers wrote in the study published in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters.

Through computer simulations, a team of researchers from Germany and Russia identified two atmospheric processes unique to the Red Planet. These could explain how the once waterlogged world lost most of its water and offer clues as to how Earth manages to keep its reserve.


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