Photo: GooKingSword / Pixabay
Researchers from Arizona State University and Stanford University concluded that Mars may have had a large number of lakesrivers and even oceans, according to a study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Thus, its current distinctive red color may have been a dazzling blue, like Earth. And not only that, researchers point out that the “Red Planet” could once have had a breathable atmosphere, as well as a warm and humid climate.
An atmospheric blanket of hydrogen
The study notes that this occurred at a time when the Earth was just forming, and similarly suggests that the early atmosphere of Mars was mostly hydrogen, and not the thick carbon dioxide atmosphere as we know it today.
On the sidelines, it is detailed that the presence of hydrogen would help explain how Mars could have been warm enough to host liquid water, when the Sun was 30 percent darker than today.
From a model of atmospheric evolution based on high-temperature processes, the researchers infer that the main gases emerging from the molten rock were a mixture of molecular hydrogen and water vapour; Hydrogen being a kind of greenhouse gas that enabled the permanence of water for millions of years in a liquid state.
It is worth mentioning that the warm (even hot) temperature of these oceans was due to said greenhouse effect, the study continues.
Recently, NASA’s Curiosity rover confirmed the existence of an ocean on Mars from a topographic survey, further evidence that Mars was once a blue planet.
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