A “catastrophic” event destroyed the atmosphere of Mars


Mars’ atmosphere destroyed by ‘catastrophic’ event four billion years ago

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Mars' atmosphere destroyed by

Rocks collected from the surface of the Gusev crater by Nasa’s Spirit rover were found to contain five times as much nickel as Martian meteorites found on Earth.  Photo: ALAMY

An analysis of data returned by the Curiosity rover, which landed on the planet a year ago, suggests there was a major upheaval which could have been caused by volcanic eruptions or a massive collision which stripped away the atmosphere.

The rover has returned its first measurements of the makeup of gases, including argon, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, in the Martian atmosphere.

The results, published in two parallel studies in the journal Science, allow scientists to better understand how the Martian climate changed, and understand whether it ever had the right conditions for life.

Dr Chris Webster at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, lead author on one of the studies, said the data enabled direct comparisons with the Earth’s climate.

 

rest of story – Source – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10189828/Mars-atmosphere-destroyed-by-catastrophic-even…

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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