Paradigm shifting research has found that water on Mars is escaping much faster than existing models and observations predict, upending our current understanding of the Red Planet and casting doubt on future colonization plans. When the bond between atoms is broken, the weak gravity of Mars can not hold them and enters space.
Previous studies have showed the red planet was once flooded with flowing water, which has largely disappeared in its more recent history.
These results were were obtained thanks to the Trace Gas Orbiter probe from the ExoMars mission, financed by the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
"Water in the atmosphere is a negligible component of the planet's total water inventory, but nevertheless regulates the dissipation of water over time".
Experts expected "it should have been limited by the cold temperature up above and be bound to condense into clouds", Montmessin said.
The process has been known to occur on Mars for many years now.
Strong winds then carry the individual molecules and atoms of hydrogen and oxygen to the upper reaches of the planet's atmosphere.
"Because supersaturation is observed concomitantly with dust or ice particles, we conclude that condensation does not efficiently prevent water vapor from becoming supersaturated, even when seeds for condensation exist".
Past research has also shown that Martian water got away into space.
Scientists announced that the water on the surface of Mars began to disappear.
But researchers at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) have discovered it is happening much faster than thought before.
Researchers say the atmosphere contains 100 times more water vapor than theoretical estimates.
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