Many little spots on the Mars’ surface might be able to hold life as we imagine it, a new research points. Water ice is plentiful on and close to the Red Planet’s ground, but conditions should be appropriate to increase the chances of liquid water.
And that’s due to Mars’ atmosphere that is very thin, only 1 % as thick as Earth’s air at sea level. Also, the ice manages to sublimate or change directly into vapor, when temperatures increase enough. The latest research, however, discovers a microenvironment that could hold those appropriate conditions. Some areas were identified directly behind a few bumps in Mars’ midlatitude regions, present in the rocks’ shadows continuously during the wintertime.
Mars’ Peculiar Spots Of Water
Carbon-dioxide ice and water ice gather seasonally in those tiny spots, according to some computer simulations developed by Norbert Schorghofer, the research author. When spring arrives, and sunlight reaches those microenvironments once again, temperatures there increase quickly. From -198 degrees Fahrenheit to 14 degrees Fahrenheit in a short time.
The ice then disappears, but the temperature shift is so quick that not all of the ice suppress, some melts into the alkaline Mars’ soil, creating salty liquid. The saltness is considered the most significant element there because salt decreases the melting percent of water almost to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the carbon-dioxide ice seems to support everything.
“Dust contained in the CO2 frost facilities the formation of a protective sublimation lag. Overall, the melting of pure water ice is not expected under present-day Mars condition,” detailed Schroghofer.
The salty liquid formation might be present for almost 2-3 days at each point that experiences it. But the occurrence is a usual one, repeating annually, the research indicates. Spots of winter bump-shadow aren’t the only ones on Mars that might encounter seasonal rolls of liquid water.