The researchers believe that there was enough water on the Red Planet to cover up more than half of the planet’s northern hemisphere.
The new findings could add to the multiple theories that there once was organic life on Mars and the search for evidence of that still continues.
For this project the scientists monitored Mars’s atmosphere for more than six years in order to gather as much data as they could on the type and amount of water that may have been present on the planet.
After many years of continuous research and observations, the scientists concluded that Mars’s surface was covered by a giant ocean more than 4 billion years ago. According to their studies, more than 87% of that water evaporated in space because Mars has a weak atmosphere.
Although the Mars ocean was enormous in size, the scientists say it was approximately one mile deep.
Geronimo Villanueva, NASA scientist and one of the researchers involved in the new study, explained that the research reveals how much water there once was on Mars. The new study helps the scientists better understand Mars’ history of water.
Geronimo Villanueva works at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The new estimate on the volume of water that Mars once had could influence the way scientists are looking for evidence of life on the Red Planet.
Michael Mumma, one of the authors of the study, said that because Mars lost so much water it probably remained wet for a long period of time, longer than it was previously believed. This means that the Red Planet remained habitable for a longer period of time, as per Mumma.
NASA has the rover Curiosity searching the Mars surface for any evidence of organic life. The rover gathers samples of Mars soil and analyzes the planet’s atmosphere for gases like methane that could lead to evidence of life on Mars.
Image Source: redorbit
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