Heavy rainfall on Mars may possibly have restructured the impact craters of the Red Planet and imprinted river-like waterways on Martian surface, some billions of years ago, revealed a new international study.
Mars has always been an intriguing and enigmatic subject for scientists and astronomers. While astronomers are gearing up for crossing the threshold of Martian atmosphere in the coming few years, there are still several factors and characteristics of Mars, which have been bewildering scientists till now. And one such Martian feature is the surface of Mars. Currently, Mars is considered to be a dry and lifeless planet. But as studies revealed earlier, in its formative years, Mars was drenched with oceans and rivers, just like Earth in its present days, which means young Mars also might have experienced rainfall. But the question is – how much did it precipitation on the Red Planet? Were that rainfalls robust enough to reshape the surface of the planet? Well, a new international study has the perfect answer to such questions.
A new study, conducted by a researcher team from Johns Hopkins University in the US has claimed that once upon a time, Mars, just like the earth was also drenched with rivers and channels. And billion years ago, the rainfall in the Red Planet was so strong that they completely reshaped the surface of the planet. As shown in the survey paper, Mars – the fourth planet of the planetary system, has similar geological features including craters and valleys, like the Earth and Moon have, many of which were estimated to be configured through precipitation.
In the new study, Robert Craddock and Ralph Lorenz, the lead authors of the study from Johns Hopkins University in the US have highlighted that once upon a time, there was heavy rainfall in Mars and that it was cumbersome and strong enough to transform the Martin surface. Valley networks on Mars also have shown the evidence for surface overflow, caused by rainfall.
According to the lead authors, “Many experiments and researchers previously have tried to explore the role of rainfall in restructuring the Martian surface. But we are the first one to bring basic physics principles into play for understanding the early Martian atmosphere. Nearly 4.5 billion years ago, when Mars was first configured, it had a much heavier and extensive atmosphere with a greater pressure than it has now and this atmospheric pressure dominates the strength and volume of the raindrops as well as how tough they plummeted on planet’s surface.
The study with its complete details was published in the journal Icarus over this weekend.