The Hunt for Water on Mars
Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser
Every other week or so we are treated to news about the hunt for water on Mars. Each time a find seems ever so close, but no cigar yet.Every other week or so we are treated to news about the hunt for water on Mars. Each time a find seems ever so close, but no cigar yet.
Mars, also known as the Red Planet, is an uninhabitable planet, at least for us Earthlings, even if some traces of water were eventually discovered there. Sorry, no showers in fresh Martian water for the 100,000-plus volunteers who have signed up for one-way trips to Mars. Actually, I suspect they will be thirsty as well and dehydration will cut short their life there in no time flat if they ever get there at all.
However, as reported by the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a new study claims to have found more circumstantial evidence of underground water on Mars. The researchers think that some dark streaks on the Martian surface could possibly be explained as erosion features caused by flowing water or by a similar phenomenon.
Water and CO2
Earth, also known as the Blue Planet, unlike any other planet contains a massive amount of water on its surface. That and, believe it or not, the “evil” carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere makes life possible. All that water on Earth is thought to have come from the collision with an icy comet “Billions” of years ago. In contrast, Mars had no such fate bestowed upon it and is dry as a dust bowl. If it ever had any small amounts of water at all, it either has become bound in minerals or evaporated into its atmosphere predominantly composed of CO2. Without the water though, all that CO2 could not have helped to allow the creation of any life forms there.
NASA’s quest to find water on Mars continues unabated. It looks like the Holy Grail to them, particularly in view of the President’s goal to send a mission there in the 2030s. So, don’t be surprised to find ever more tantalizing reports of circumstantial evidence or perhaps even the existence of a few errant water molecules on Mars.
However, if you want to keep hydrated or take a shower, better stay on the Blue Planet for a while longer!