Scientists have found that boiling water may be responsible for some of the bizarre features on Mars.
Scientists have just made a discovery on the Red Planet that could prove to be big: a new study claims that boiling water helped carve some of the features on Mars.
The study says that the many strange geological features on the surface of Mars may have been created with boiling water due to slopes that appear to have sediment flowing down them, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.
This definitely indicated some kind of fluid, but until now scientists weren’t sure what fluid. However, a team of scientists in September announced they had found evidence of hydrating salts suggesting the presence of water. And although there isn’t much water on the surface of Mars, there may be enough to change the surface more than we might expect.
For one thing, the atmospheric pressure on Mars is lower than the Earth due to a thinner atmosphere, causing water to behave differently on the Red Planet. It also boils at a lower temperature: at the top of Mount Everest where the atmosphere is thinner, water boils at 140 degrees F rather than 212 degrees at sea level.
“Here, we present lab experiments in which a block of ice melts and seeps into underlying sediment, and the resulting downslope fluid propagation and sediment transport are tracked,” the paper’s abstract states. “In experiments at Martian surface pressure, we find that pure water boils as it percolates into the sediment, inducing grain saltation and leading to wholesale slope destabilization: a hybrid flow mechanism involving both wet and dry processes.”