On Mars it rains?

28.01.2004

28.01.2004


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Mountains and deserts of the Red Planet just cut up by flood waters

At the bottom of the canyon Valles, perhaps we could skate — its gleaming blue depths as many meters thick ice.

European spacecraft "Mars Express", who survived in orbit, gave a sensational shots. They looked Gerhard Neukum, chief designer of high-resolution stereo camera, which all photographed, and solemnly said at a recent press conference in Germany: "Yes, I think now there is no doubt — the water flowed on Mars." Now scientists doubt elsewhere — in the exact answer to the question: where did it come from? But the hypothesis put forward amusing.

Planet melt asteroids

Another sensation mission "Mars Express" spectrometers orbiter discovered ice in the polar caps, that is, frozen water, not carbon dioxide. There are other data until analyzed. Decipher them about the 20th of February, will compare with new pictures and see if there is ice on the walls of Martian canyons. Because of the way they look, as if the rocks washed with water. But not at the poles, she natekla?

— Could and at the poles, but not a direct course — says Teresa Segurn from the University of Colorado (USA). — Water rain falls. And the rain, literally heavy, walked on Mars every time after it got large meteorites.

According to the researcher, blows warmed the planet from space, especially in the polar regions, the celestial body itself evaporated, ice evaporates and rises into the sky giant clouds of dirty water drainage. They hit by rainstorms, thawed ground water, which came out on the surface of Mars, and sprinted across the muddy mudslide. From them, and any channel, canyons and other "fluid" of education.

— It was the phenomenon of global scale — says Segurn — the level caused by meteorites precipitation reached two meters a year.


Surprisingly accurate crater like a tank in which the ancient Martians to store water. Or swimming.

Rivers, as in Antarctica

Chrissy McKay of NASA's Mars compares to Antarctica, where it is cold Martian, and the rivers flow, and even the lake are available. For example, the Onyx River, Lake Vanda. They are, according to the scientist, nourish glaciers to melt. Once upon a time, such processes could walk on Mars. And now the water evaporates there, bypassing the liquid stage. But not because it's cold, but because of the low atmospheric pressure, which is a tenth of the earth. In earlier times, perhaps, the pressure was higher and melt water rivers fed by lakes.

By the way, considering the images obtained from orbit, some scientists uglyadyvayut strange whitish growths on the mountain slopes facing toward the poles. And suppose that this packed snow. And under it can form voids with high blood pressure and sometimes ooze water.

Previously, the sun warmed the better

Canadian Arnold Boothroyd of the University of Toronto insisted that in the past the average temperature of Mars was much higher than it is now. And the water could flow by itself. Scientists have calculated that a couple of billion years ago the sun was up 7 percent heavier and shone a half times brighter. In other words, our neighbor and was "dragged" closer, and warms the better.

— Mars was warm enough for the existence of liquid water — said Boothroyd. At least he is credited to NASA. Not for nothing did the specialists sent rover "Oppotyuniti" explore the area, which by its topography resembles the bottom of a dried-up lake.

In turn, the European experts do not leave without trying to communicate, or at least find a rover "Beagle 2", disappeared without a trace on Mars, and even managed to proceed to its main task — finding water. They want to see from orbit, taking pictures with high resolution.

OPINION fiction writers

Stanislaw Lem does not believe in aliens

Pictures of the Martian surface with strange marks astounded the world-famous Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem's "Solaris". Do not even doubt the existence of alien liquid, it calculated that if all the ice to melt on Mars, the water will cover the planet in a layer of 4 mm. That's a lot, but to believe in Martians — some "little green men" — is not enough, says science fiction. And he does not believe. According to common arguments Lem, on Mars, at best, find the bacteria. Although scientists are fantastically happy even such a small thing. After all, they have to learn important: on one or different laws emerging life on the planets of the solar system.

Vladimir Lagowski January 27, 2004

TVNZ

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