posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 03:17 AM
Well first off I only heard of the idea that Mars has a wild wobble, and I can't remember where from, might even be the exact source that jrod heard
it from. It could be very unreliable.
It's not really a concern right now, because for the past 3 billion years Mars has been essentially the way it is right now, and so more important is
figuring out how that happend and what it was like before that happend.
The atmosphere is so thin on Mars that 30% of the atmosphere transfers from hemisphere to hemisphere as the seasons change at the poles causing the
icecaps to melt/freeze.
So any such wobble would be significant on the atmosphere, since the atmosphere is really the only remaining geologic process on Mars besides bolide
impacts, then the wobble's significance would be completely in how it has shaped dune features on Mars...
What affects it has on the Martian dust storms and such.
Geologically, Mars does seem to indeed have been very wet, it is devoid of massive river channels and devoid of hydrological weathering, which denotes
that Mars has been submerged.
At least the northern and lower half. The northern hemisphere is lower in elevation than the southern and so far into the past water could have
condensed in the highlands and accumulated in the low lands. This would, over millions of years without plate tectonics have reduced the world's
mountains into mole hills and caused the generally flat surface we see today.
Then that water sits around for a while, oxidizing iron and such, and then is fully absorbed into the crust as the planet cools.
Then a billion or so years later, a massive meteorite hits where the Hellas basin is today, causes a mantle plume where the Tharsis bulge is today,
causing volcanism in that part.
The bulge causes crustal extension which because there really is no faulting to break along, just rips a gigantic rift where the Valles Marineris is
That releases a lot of water that was in the crust back over the surface of Mars causing the most recent and last evidences of ancient hydrological
activity on the surface of Mars.
The Volcanoes go dormant, Mars becomes the dead world it is now.
That's about it...
Life under the surface? Doubtful. Life has limits, and a world that has no major tectonic activity probably won't be able to sustain life for more
than a few million years.
Reason is mainly resources...life forms are not very "mobile".
Life on Earth has spread where there are resources, but when the resources are used up the life forms don't generally move to a better location, they
die. Humans differ and more evolved species like buffallo and gazelle and water buffalos of Africa and birds have gained the instinct to migrate.
But again, they migrate from one specific area to another specific area, if both areas die out they die with it.
Mars is the only area for any life that would have been there and it died out.
Without tectonic activity you have limited volcanism, at least in the case of Mars, and therefore no new fertile soils are extruded. Without a
hydrological system you have no erosion and deposition to create the vast fertile stable platforms or valleys//basins that we have here on Earth.
So any life form that did exist, would have eaten all its food, and then died as no rains would decompose rocks into nutrients, no floods would bring
soils, no volcanoes would replace depleted lands by spewing forth its glory or being exposed as a batholith to be weathered into fertile soil.
So subterranean isn't "more" hospitable on a world that has no geological activity because nothing is recycled as the "great recycler" does not
exist (that recycler is geological activity.)
See, life needs an external source of energy, it in itself can not exist.
For instance, bacteria at the bottom of the sea near thermal vents. The energy source is the earth, the earth creates food for the bacteria (sulfurs)
and it eats it to produce energy.
Trees...they with the help of the energy of the sun, are able to take the earth and make it into its food.
Phytoplanktans, the earth erodes into the sea and they live off that stuff.
While life may get its food from another life form...in the end all life is dependent upon the earth producing that base foods...the earth in a sense
is on the very bottom of the food chain
And this works on earth because the earth creates mountains which erode into food...and when that food is used up, it is subducted by tectonics and
creates more mountains...this doesn't happen on Mars, when all the chemicals and minerals and such are transformed by the life forms there, there is
nothing that can transform them back...
This is because of the laws of thermodynamics, energy is always lost in the process so you can never fully recreate what was transformed.
You eat a banana, you can not with in a closed system, turn your feces back into a banana...impossible.
However in a system with unlimited energy...at least in our terms...you can.
That unlimited energy is the sun and the earth...Mars lacks that internal energy to take waste products and melt them down to recrystalize as rocks
and start the process all over again.
Any life forms on Mars certainly would have eaten everything by now.
Wow what a long drawn out post