10 facts that make Mars like Earth

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2018-10-02 22:45:22

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10 facts that make Mars like Earth

Earth and Mars have much in common. Both plans have a similar landscape, but on Mars there is a shortage of water, oxygen and atmospheric pressure, necessary to sustain life on earth. In comparison with our planet Mars has smaller dimensions and weight, it is 53% smaller than Earth and twice that of the moon.

Despite the fact that Mars looks like a lifeless desert, his "earth-like" features and characteristics make it similar to our Earth much more than it might seem at first glance. Due to these similarities, many scientists believe that we can one day colonize the Red planet, making it a second home.

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Mars has four seasons

As on Earth, Mars has four seasons. But unlike Land, where each season is divided into three months, the duration of each season on Mars is dependent on the hemisphere of the planet.
The Martian year lasts 668,59 Sol (Martian days called Sola), which is approximately equal to 687 earth days and almost two times longer than earth's year. In the Northern hemisphere of the red planet spring lasts seven months, the summer – six, autumn – earth is 5.3 months, and winter lasts a little more than four.

The Martian summer in a server-side hemisphere is very cold. Very often, the temperature here at this time of year does not rise above -20 degrees Celsius. In the southern hemisphere of Mars is a little warmer – the temperature there can rise to +30 degrees Celsius in the same season. This temperature contrast is often the reason of the strongest dust storms.

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Mars is the Aurora Borealis

Fantastic colorful auroras – not an exclusive feature of our earth's atmosphere. Auroras can appear on any planet, if that helps in proper conditions. Mars also is no exception. Although, we clearly see the auroras on Earth, on Mars we see them fail. The fact that the Martian polar lights glow in ultraviolet wavelengths, invisible to the human eye.

Scientists can observe the Martian polar auroras, for example, thanks to a special instrument aboard the space probe MAVEN (Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN — "Evolution of the atmosphere and the volatiles on Mars"). Unlike earth, Martian auroras — this is a very rare and transient phenomenon: they last only for a few seconds.

On Earth the Aurora is caused by the interaction of the upper atmosphere with charged particles of the solar wind. Mars has no global magnetic field, but scientists have observed remanence of the crust, especially in the highlands of the southern hemisphere. Such weak magnetic field may cause the Aurora. The glow in the atmosphere arises from the fact that the "incoming" electrons of the solar wind accelerate along the magnetic field lines interact with the molecules of carbon dioxide, which is the basis of the thin atmosphere of the planet.

Scientists suggest that Venus and Titan (one of Saturn's moons) are similar to Martian auroras, as both bodies have their own magnetic field.

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a Martian day is not much longer than the earth

The duration of the day talks about how much time it takes the planet to commit a full revolution around its axis. On the planets that require more time to carry out full turnover, the days last longer. The length of day on each planet of the Solar system of its own, as everything requires its time to commit a full revolution.

On Earth day lasts 24 hours (if you round up). On Jupiter is 9 hours 55 minutes. Venus — 116 days and 18 hours. The Martian day lasts 24 hours and 40 minutes. Given this large variation of the length of day between the planets, how did it happen that the duration of the earth and the Martian day is only 40 minutes? Pure coincidence, say the researchers.

According to the generally accepted model of planet formation, they are formed of large clumps in the dust disk, remaining after the formation of the stars. Due to the collision with other objects inside the gas-dust disk these clots begin to rotate. The rate of rotation can vary, and change many times. In the end, when the formation of the world almost completed, the object is no more than encountered. Have appeared on the planet remains the torque resulting from the recent clashes.

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Mars is the water

In 2008, the spacecraft NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered evidence of liquid water flows. This discovery meant that the water on the Red plan acquires a liquid form in summer and freezes in winter. As mentioned above, the Martian summer is much colder than the earth. However, the traces that could leak water, was discovered in a place where the temperature does not rise above -23 degrees Celsius. And if the presence of water ice here it was still possible to explain the presence of liquid water at sub-zero temperatures, scientists still find it difficult to explain.

According to one of assumptions, the water here does not freeze due to the high content of salt (from salt water freezing point below). Another hypothesis is that liquid water could form on the surface due to contact of salt and ice (the salt melted the ice). In any case, a more convincing explanationseen scientists plan to after determine the source of this water. At the moment, put forward some assumptions: the result of ice melting, groundwater source, and water vapor from the atmosphere.

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the Ice caps at the poles and glacial belts

As on Earth, the North and South poles of Mars are covered with ice caps. However, in the Northern and southern hemisphere of the red planet in Central latitudes also have ice belts. Previously, we did not notice them because they were hidden by a thick layer of dust.

By the way, according to scientists, the dust just protects the belt from evaporation. On Mars's very low atmospheric pressure, which leads to instant evaporation of the water and ice from the surface. Ice sublimates directly into vapor, and not becomes first water and then evaporates. According to rough estimates of scientists on Mars can contain more than 150 billion cubic meters of ice, which would be sufficient to cover the entire surface of the planet ice layer thickness of 1 meter.

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Mars is their "waterfalls"

After Studying the images obtained using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), scientists have discovered the presence of a geological "Martian wonders" similar to our earthly falls. However, in the case of Mars we are not talking about vertical drains large volumes of water, and the flow of molten lava.

The Researchers found that lava had erupted at four different points along the 30-km crater Tharsis, located in the region of Mars, which is a huge volcanic upland to the West of the Mariner valleys near the equator. Judging by the photos, according to experts, we can say that the lava on Mars was liquid and its behavior was similar to the water: once the lava has filled the crater, she poured on the surface of the four threads. The lava flows could not cover the old deposits on the same level with the crater, talking about the different color shades on the photo. The most recent also fat — of dark and old — bright.

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Mars is the only (besides Earth) planet

Planet of our Solar system are divided into two categories: terrestrial planets and gas giants. Terrestrial planets have a solid surface. We can use them to land. These include mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars (sorry, Pluto). Gas giants consist of gases. They are impossible to land because they have no solid surface. The gas giants are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

As far As we know, among all the known planets in the Solar system only on Earth is life. Mars is not enough to do this quite a bit. Other planets will simply kill us. For example, the surface of mercury is similar to a giant roasting pan, because the planet is very close to the Sun. Despite its more distant location of the surface of Venus (second planet from the Sun) even hotter. This is due to the presence of a very dense atmosphere of carbon monoxide, which acts as a heat trap.

Theoretically, Mars can sustain life, although this planet is not as hospitable as it might seem from the subtitle. For survival on Mars, we will need the use of special protective equipment and housing, as on the planet, there is an increased background radiation and no atmosphere for breathing.

Scientists are considering plans for potential colonization of Mars, proposed the idea of installing a generator of a magnetic field between Mars and the Sun. The presence of magnetic fields could protect Mars from solar wind (radiation), depleting the planet's atmosphere.

If you cannot resolve the problem of the solar wind, we will be able to raise on Mars the atmospheric pressure, which in turn will lead to an increase in the average temperature on the planet's surface and melt the ice caps at the poles. CO2 in the atmosphere will trigger a greenhouse effect. On Mars again shall flow rivers of living water, and the planet itself will turn into a good space resort. Dreams, dreams. Let's start with the fact that we have no technology that would allow to create the magnetic field in the whole planet. This, perhaps, until done.

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Some features of the landscape of Mars could have formed similar to earth

Despite the rarity of the phenomenon, the Earth still continue to experience brand-new areas of land. After the eruption of underwater volcanoes appear small Islands. Over the past 150 years, the history witnessed at least three such events. The latter happened recently. In 2015, the result of a volcanic eruption in the Pacific ocean the island appeared hung Tonga-hung Haapai.

The Event, of course, attracted the attention of scientists from NASA. At first, scientists feared that the island could fall apart, but now they say that hung Tonga-hung Haapai can survive for at least 30 years.

The Interest of NASA to the island due to the fact that it allows you to present a picture of how water could shape the landscape of ancient Mars. Appeared hung Tonga-hung Haapai were initially unstable and were constantly losing their parts, which fell back into the ocean. The destruction of the island stopped as soon as its basis (volcanic ash) was included in the reaction with salt water and hardened.
According to scientists from NASA, likewise, could see some of the landscape features of Mars.

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Mars can sustain life

Life On Mars have not yet found, but scientists are firmly convinced that the Red planet is able to support and oncesupported the existence of life. "Curiosity", a Rover that roams the surface of Mars, found traces of organic molecules in rocks Gale crater, which is about 3.5 billion years ago was a lake.

For life requires the presence of combinations of four organic molecules: proteins, nucleic acids, fats and carbohydrates. Without these components, the body can not exist as a living. The presence of these molecules on Mars would mean that there is life. But not so simple. The fact that these molecules can be produced by some types of non-living matter, making such a conclusion is inconclusive. Therefore, among scientists there is another indicator which could indicate the presence of life on Mars – methane.

Living creatures produce methane. In fact, the main part of this substance on the Earth produced living beings. In the atmosphere of Mars is also detected methane. There he lingers only for a hundred years, then disappears and then appears again. That is, it turns out that the planet has a source of methane, replenishing its concentration in the atmosphere. What is the source scientist is still unknown, but they continue to discuss on this topic. Some say that the methane is a result of certain chemical reactions occurring on the planet, others believe that the methane produced by microbes. Moreover, scientists have even discovered methane emissions, seeing that they occur seasonally. As it turned out, most often they occur in the summer and stop in winter. On Earth this feature is not observed.

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On Mars, plants can grow (in theory)

Scientists from NASA believe in the future on Mars will be possible by agriculture. We can grow vegetables and fruits, trees and more. In the experiment, carried out jointly with the International centre for potatoes in Peru, scientists from NASA were able to grow potatoes in a special box, in which was simulated the harsh conditions of the climate of Mars.

Unfortunately, this experiment cannot be considered significant, because the researchers used the soil taken from the Peruvian desert of pampas de La Joya. Despite the fact that the soil sterilization treatment was for purity of experiment, it still could be microbes that can promote plant growth. In addition, potatoes are grown from pieces of potatoes and not from seed, and this in turn can be a big problem, because in this way the potatoes to transport to Mars is impossible – the radiation will damage its cells, making it unfit for cultivation.

During a similar experiment, the students of Villanova University (Pennsylvania, USA) grew lettuce, cabbage, garlic and hops. To grow potatoes failed. The tubers were killed due to a too-dense soil. In their experiment, the students in the quality of the soil for planting was used volcanic basalt, rich in iron instead of analogue Martian soil (regolith). Despite the fact that the basalt is quite well simulates the environment of regolith, it's still another connection.

The Regolith for landing, as it contains a large number of perchlorates, is extremely toxic to the human body. However, the researchers note, all is not lost. From perchlorates in the soil you can save by filtering (water) or check in it of the bacteria that feed on these compounds. The use of bacteria is even more preferable because they can produce oxygen in the process.

Another problem is the sunlight, or rather its lack. As you know, the Red planet receives only half of the amount of light that Earth receives. Moreover, a good part of this light is blocked by "dust filter" of the Martian atmosphere. Even if the scientists will solve this problem, we have to solve also the issue of ultraviolet radiation, which is almost the entirety of bombarding Mars with the Sun.

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