Short Bytes: While the search for life on Mars has gone full throttle, NASA explains what had actually happened on the red planet. How come our once lively neighbour turned into an arid, cold and dead planet! Read to know more.
But, NASA it seems, has finally figured out the reason as to why Mars has been dead for so long. In its press conference, NASA revealed that our Sun (yes, our life-giving star) is the reason that today, there is no atmosphere on Mars. The strong solar winds has been stripping Mars of its atmosphere at the rate of 1/4 pound of gas every second.
With the help of MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution), Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN’s researcher at University of Colorado found that when the Sun was young it bore super strong solar storms and the charged particles in those solar storms would come gusting at Mars with speed of over one million miles per hour. The high-speed moving charge particles created a strong magnetic field which withered away the atmosphere (starting from the ionosphere) of the planet bit by bit.
As we know, a thick atmosphere provides a solid base and cover to the planet from the outside threats (meteors and solar storms) thus, sustaining the life within. Similar was the condition of Mars before the erosion started and this gives a clue of the dynamics and evolution of the planetary atmosphere.
While we are still searching for life on Mars and other planets, the question we need to ask to ourselves is that has the time come for the humans to become a multiplanetary species, or are we waiting too long?
Watch the video by NASA to understand how the withering of atmosphere took place from the plumes and tail of the once flourishing Red Planet.
Will our Earth face a similar fate?? Tell us in comments below.