Science and technology

New Answer To An Old Riddle: Floating Sands Over Boiling Water Formed Mars Landscape

Is this a case of a new answer to an old riddle? It could be as The Open University scientists claimed to have found the explanation for the formation of Mars’ landscape.

Antonio Manaytay – Fourth Estate Contributor

England, United Kingdom (4E) – While planetary scientists had already identified of sand dune movement, gullies, and recurring slope linea on Mars floor, not till not too long ago it was not identified what precipitated the formation within the absence of water.

The scientists from The Open University, nevertheless, claimed they’ve discovered the reply to the previous query: levitating sand over boiling water.

“Whilst planetary scientists already know that the surface of Mars has ‘mass-wasting’ features…which occur as a result of sediment transportation down a slope, the debate about what is forming them continues,” lead creator Dr. Jan Raack, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow at The Open University, mentioned.

The experiments carried out on the OU Mars Simulation Center had revealed that the Red Planet’s ultra-thin environment, about 7 mbar or lower than a p.c of the Earth’s, and its heat floor temperature may cause the small quantity of floor water to boil. The boiling water then causes the sands to levitate inflicting the formation of sand dunes flows, gullies, and different options of Mars.

“Our research had discovered that this levitation effect caused by boiling water under low pressure enables the rapid transport of sand and sediment across the surface,” Dr. Raack mentioned.

“This is a new geological phenomenon which doesn’t happen on Earth, and could be vital to understanding similar processes on other planetary surfaces,” he added.

Dr. Raack admitted on the similar time that extra research have but to be performed to find out the sources of floor water in Mars.

He identified that the position performed by this small quantity of water in forming the floor options of Mars had been “widely underestimated.”

“We need to carry out more research into how water levitates on Mars, and missions such as the ESA ExoMars 2020 Rover will provide vital insight to help us better understand our closest neighbor,” he mentioned.

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