17:48 06 March 2015
A study conducted by NASA has revealed that Mars had a huge ocean that held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean. The study, which was published this week, also claimed that a billion years ago, the Red Planet was partly blue.
Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of the paper, who made the analysis based on the water residue in Martian caps, said: “Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much later was lost to space.”
The scientists made the conclusion based on the result of observations and computations made from three telescope facilities on Earth. These instruments were used to distinguish chemical signatures of two different types of water in the remnants of Mars’ atmosphere.
The study revealed that only 13per cent of Mars’ original water remains in the ice cap.
“With Mars losing that much water, the planet was very likely wet for a longer period of time than was previously thought, suggesting it might have been habitable for longer,” said Michael Mumma, a senior scientist at Goddard and the second author of the paper.