NASA Discovers Signs Of Gargantuan Ancient Ocean On Mars

NASA Discovers Signs Of Gargantuan Ancient Ocean On Mars

Mars Once Had A Vast Ocean Covering One-Fifth Of Its Surface, New Research Suggests

Scientists have long known there was once water on Mars, but just how much?

New research suggests that the Red Planet was way wetter than scientists thought. In fact, it seems that large portions of the Martian surface were flooded under a vast ocean–and that seems to have increased the odds that Mars was once habitable.

The research, an analysis of chemical “signatures” in the Martian atmosphere, indicates that some 4.2 billion years ago a body of water bigger than the Arctic Ocean covered nearly one-fifth of the planet’s surface. This ocean likely contained a whopping 5 million cubic miles of water, with a maximum depth of one mile.

“Ten years ago, the story of water on Mars was an occasional flood of rocky debris every 100m years that then switched off again,” John Bridges, a Leicester University planetary scientist who works on NASA’s Curiosity rover mission.

Scroll down for video

“We now know it’s more continuous. There were long-standing bodies of water: lakes, deltas and perhaps even seas. It seems to me that we have excellent evidence that Mars was once habitable, though whether it was ever inhabited is not clear.”

For the research, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland analyzed observations of the atmosphere above Mars’ north and south poles made over the course of six years by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in northern Chile and the W.M. Keck Observatory and NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii.

The scientists compared the atmospheric concentrations of “normal” water (H2O) to “heavy water” (HDO), in which one hydrogen atom is replaced with an atom of the isotope deuterium. They discovered that the concentration of deuterium over the polar ice caps is now much higher than is seen in Earth’s oceans.

See also: Mysterious Plumes on Mars Have Scientists Stumped

The finding suggests ancient Mars must have lost an ocean’s-worth of normal water, as the normal water would have evaporated into space while the heavy water would have been trapped in the planet’s water cycle. The scientists estimate that the total volume of water on the planet was once roughly 6.5 times greater than the amount of water found in the polar ice caps today.

“With Mars losing that much water, the planet was very likely wet for a longer period of time than was previously thought, suggesting it might have been habitable for longer,” Michael Mumma, a senior scientist at Goddard and a co-author of a paper describing the research, said in a written statement.

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing

The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Audi creates diesel fuel from water and CO2 that leaves zero-carbon footprint

A breakthrough refinement process perfected by Audi engineers has produced a diesel fuel created from high temperature water and carbon dioxide. After only four months,...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing

The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount...

A Warning For All Parents Backed By Science: What WiFi, Cell Phones & More Are Really Doing To Our Health

This article only represents a very small fraction of the research regarding the dangers associated with these devices. We encourage you to further your...

I’ve Been to AREA 51 and “ Aliens Exist ” says NASA Chief

Nasa Administrator Major Charles Frank Bolden Jr said that alien life does exist, but it is not being kept secret in Area 51 Such statements...

The Smartflower Solar Panel – the world’s first all-in-one solar system

Smartflower: Simply smart. Simply efficient. For twice the degree of self-utilisation The stylish Smartflower Solar Panel uses two-axis tracking to follow the sun during the...

A Huge New Crater Is Found In Siberia

Siberian crater is just one of many mysterious holes around the world, And The Theories Fly Who or what caused this crater? All of sudden, this...

Breaking: Germany Follows Scotland’s Lead And Opts To Ban GMOs

Germany is following Scotland's example and banning all GM crops! New rules implemented by the European Union now allow individual member states to block farmers...

We’ve got human intelligence all wrong

When it comes to brainpower, we humans think our minds are the bees’ knees – but are we really much smarter than other animals? The...

Anonymous reveals Ferguson police officer’s name?

Anonymous claim they've identified the cop who killed Mike Brown in Ferguson Anonymous hacktivists say they’ve identified the Ferguson, Missouri police officer responsible for the...