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Martian Atmosphere is Supersaturated with Water Vapor

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posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by xxcalbier

Correct me if i am wrong but they said the suns radiation separated the water molecules into its base form of hydrogen and oxygen maybe the "free" oxygen you speak of is whats left after this process it does not necessarily mean plants were involved

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 09:32 AM
Water vapour is encouraging any way i look at it.
There is one thing that nags me and that is the colour of the atmosphere on Mars.
Is it really red or not?

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by stirling

No, the atmosphere is not red, but the dust makes it look like that.

The same thing happens on Earth, as you can see in the photos bellow, from the dust storm that hit Sydney two years ago.

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 10:42 AM
as the water gets close enough to space at that point it leaches into space so no oxygen closer to the surface can not be formed from this.
and that is quoting the part you noticed
edit on 1-10-2011 by xxcalbier because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by xxcalbier

Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe.
Oxygen will be there, whether it binds with hydrogen to form water, or Carbon, or any Calcium that may be present on Mars is another question, also we may not find the trace elements of Aluminum, Arsenic, Boron, Bromine, Cadmium, Chlorine, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Fluorine, Germanium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Sulfur, Tin, Vanadium, and Zinc in proper proportions to spawn life.

Isn't is amazing how many metal elements you are made out of? (I left out titanium and tungsten). Though the most important molecule for life is liquid H2O, you may be surprised at what else it takes...Arsenic and Molybdenum! WOW! All we're missing is Neon and Lithium!

posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 05:59 PM
reply to post by BriGuyTM90

Fascinating, love science and discoveries like this. More data being acquired, which is the point of preparation for that day, still far off I fear, of manned visits outside our local Earth-Moon system.

What I'm wondering, can someone who is more knowledgeable in exo-planetary atmospheric sciences explain whether the measured/observed saturation levels in Mars' atmosphere being higher than equivalents on Earth might be due to the different mix of the gases, in some way?

More simply, is this a bit of apples to oranges comparison, given the very different gases that comprise the two planets' atmospheres? Bottom line: Can a primarily CO2 atmosphere (Mars) "hold" more water vapor than an oxygen/nitrogen mix (Earth's)? (Presumably when compared at equal pressures [kPa] and temperatures).....

posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:23 PM

Originally posted by rogerstigers
I am pretty certain that NASA sponsored research has done at least a FEW spectroscopic imagings of the martian atmosphere. My guess is it was either an inconvenient result, or was considered to be in error for some reason, since we keep hearing the same "water cannot exist on mars except in solid form" over and over.

They had that info from day one don't fall for there BS again
When will you learn

posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:53 PM
reply to post by ProudBird

Stated earlier (I think), the Martian atmosphere is about 1% of earth's atmosphere, so using percentages should be first used as .001 of earth's. Now lets dissect the particulars a bit.

The main component of the atmosphere of Mars is carbon dioxide (CO2, 95%). During the Martian winter the poles are in continual darkness and the surface gets so cold that as much as 25% of the atmospheric CO2 condenses at the polar caps into solid CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again exposed to sunlight during the Martian summer, the CO2 ice sublimates back into the atmosphere.

Other aspects of the Martian atmosphere vary significantly. As carbon dioxide sublimates back into the atmosphere during the Martian summer, it leaves traces of water. Seasonal winds sweep off the poles at speeds approaching 400 kilometres per hour (250 mph) and transport large amounts of dust and water vapor giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. These clouds of water-ice were photographed by the Opportunity rover in 2004.

The measurements of water vapor from the article if I'm not mistaken is much higher than any appreciable altitude of earth's atmosphere, that would suggest the dust on Mars at high altitudes (50 km, half the way to space on earth) is holding/binding to just a slight signature of what little (water) is there, leaving the (basically outgassing) at the planet surface to dissipate into space. The lack of a magnetosphere is why Mars also can't hold on to any atmosphere, this started about 4 billion years ago. Mars was never 'alive'. A magnetosphere would channel the solar wind around the planet. Without one, the solar wind interacts directly with the ionosphere stripping away atoms, lowering the density of the atmosphere.

Stated before, Mars's atmosphere consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and the remainder is trace amounts of oxygen, water vapor, and other gases. Also, it is constantly filled with small particles of dust (mainly iron oxide), which give Mars its reddish hue. On earth, 100 times more dense than on Mars, the atmosphere 79% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and 1% other gases. Pure oxygen unbound to hydrogen is toxic and volatile to life. Nitrogen sort of saves us from that doom. Mars has much much less nitrogen than we do, CO2 is not so good either.

posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:25 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

That's not so.

Even the 1976 Viking probes (1 & 2) had instruments specifically designed to look for water vapour/ice in the Martian atmosphere. The experiments were called MAWD, an acronym for Mars Atmospheric Water Detection.

There are two major objectives of the Viking MAWD experiments. The first of these is to map, during the far encounter and preliminary orbital phases, the distribution of water vapor over the planet


The curious thing is NASA and other interested parties, had known for certain that Mars has atmospheric water ice and vapour, and significant quantities since the 1960's.

This was before we'd ever sent a probe there, and was learned through Earth based observations of the planet.

Yet the majority of laypeople were never told about this fact. Instead, up until fairly recently we'd been taught that Mars is a bone dry, frigid and dead world, invariably referred to as 'The Red Planet' as if to emphasise the bone dry desert image that is taught in mainstream schools and often reinforced in science programming on TV.

Lot's of Mars probes were equipped with similar instruments to specifically study the Martian atmosphere for water vapour/ice clouds, although not all of them made it as planned, or so we've been told.

For example the Nozomi, a Japanese Mars probe was beset with technical difficulties, not least of which was disabled instruments due to damage from a Solar Flare event.

The JAXA probes' main purpose was to study the Martian upper atmosphere, but missed it's orbital insertion, so the mission was ultimately aborted. The probe is permanently orbiting the Solar system in the vicinity of Mars apparently.

Despite the successes or failures of missions aimed at Mars, it seems all of the rhetoric coming from various space agencies, academia and institutions have one thing in common, key phraseology used on virtually every occasion..'To search for water and evidence of past or present life on the red planet'.

The implied message was (until recently at any rate) that as far as the layman went, Mars was devoid of water, it was dry and dead and we're 'looking for it'...they already knew water was there, apparently just didn't know how much and in what form it took, but they still implied otherwise.

But now, just as we laypeople are 'discovering' the comparatively abundant presence of water on Mars, whether as ice, vapour or now even flowing liquid water! (strongly in evidence)

We are also 'discovering' Methane for the first time too, well recently the news has been released. (a few years)

Are we really just discovering Martian Methane?

The more i dig around this topic, the more i find evidence that the Viking missions of 35 years ago had already confirmed both atmospheric water vapour and ice clouds, but i'm also reading that both missions had detected Methane plumes in the atmosphere as well...while methane is not always exclusively produced by life, it is always taken as a strong indicator for the enhanced possibility of life being present.

Speaking of life, we come back yet again to the decades old Viking missions, and the by now infamous series of experiments used by NASA to detect signs of life on Mars.

Article from Wired:

..But when Navarro-González and his colleagues added 1 percent by weight magnesium perchlorate to soil from the Atacama Desert in Chile, which is thought to closely resemble Martian soil and is known to contain organic compounds, they found an intriguing result.

Heating the perchlorate-adulterated desert soil to temperatures comparable to those in the Viking experiments produced the same chlorinated organic compounds that were found by the landers in 1976 but dismissed as contaminants. Nearly all the organic compounds originally in the Chilean soil were destroyed during the heating.


Here's a quote from a NASA weather report for last week or so, on the bone dry planet we call Mars.

The weather appeared to remain fairly constant throughout the week, however, as both the beginning and end of the week displayed similar conditions.

Acidalia was rather hazy, but no active dust lifting was observed. Water ice clouds persisted over Tempe, Acidalia, Arsia Mons, and were tenuously present across the southern mid- and high latitudes. The MER-B rover in Meridiani Planum saw mostly clear skies.


There's lots of facts about Mars we are not taught or told as laypeople, and in many cases a lot of apparently deliberate misinformation perpetuated and taught instead.

I do wonder why though, it can't be all professional pride or arrogance can it?

posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:38 PM

Originally posted by Phage
The article is talking about water vapor high in the Martian atmosphere (20-50 km). Where the atmosphere is that thin it does not take a lot of water vapor to supersaturate it. What was surprising was that the vapor was carried that high above the surface without condensing out into clouds of ice.

The discovery does offer an explanation of what became of the seas that Mars apparently had at one time. Rather than forming underground "glaciers", the water may have been broken down by sunlight and escaped into space.

"The data suggest that much more water vapor is being carried high enough in the atmosphere to be affected by photodissociation," added Franck Montmessin, also from LATMOS, who is the Principal Investigator for SPICAM and a co-author of the paper.

"Solar radiation can split the water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which can then escape into space. This has implications for the rate at which water has been lost from the planet and for the long-term evolution of the Martian surface and atmosphere."

edit on 9/30/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)

Hi Phage,

Would it be possible if mercury ever had water and that it bled out and because the rotation of our planets are rotating as I understand them (which isn't in any scientific margin) each further from the sun; venus then bled her water to us, and now maybe we're bleeding the same water to mars?

Wasn't our own sun an itty-bitty one so long ago?
Sorry for an off topic post.

posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by spikey

There's lots of facts about Mars we are not taught or told as laypeople, and in many cases a lot of apparently deliberate misinformation perpetuated and taught instead.

And yet, as you have demonstrated, for those with the slightest interest the information is readily available.
edit on 10/4/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)

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