Scientists from NASA have suggested that under the crust of Mars is hidden part of the waters that formed the ocean on the planet. This is evidenced by the observations of the mission and the conclusions of their mathematical models.
Researchers already knew that Mars was once wet and its entire surface was covered by an ocean from 100 to 1500 m deep; this is about half the size of the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists note that since life on Earth exists almost everywhere where there is water, the likelihood that life existed on Mars is significantly increased.
The red planet soon after lost its protective magnetic field, and solar radiation and wind deprived it of most of its air and water. The amount of moisture in the Mars atmosphere could cover it with 20-40 m thick water.
However, the results of a new study suggest that Mars may not have lost all of its water. Data from the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) mission and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter showed that, with the rate of disappearance of water from the atmosphere, Mars would lose water only at a depth of 3 to 25 m in 4.5 billion years.
Scientists speculate that much of the water that was once on Mars may be hiding in the crust of the Red Planet, trapped in the crystalline structures of rocks below the surface.
Researchers now suggest that Mars lost 40% to 95% of its water during the Noachian period, about 3.7-4.1 billion years ago. Their model showed that the amount of water on the Red Planet reached its current level about 3 billion years ago.
“Mars essentially became the dry planet we know today, about 3 billion years ago. But now we have guesses about where all the water from it went, ”added NASA.