Extraterrestrial life News

Mars’ metal layers shouldn’t exist?

Spread the love

An artist's drawing of one of NASA's Mars rover on the surface of Mars From Leah Crane at New Scientist:

NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Emission) spacecraft found layers of atmospheric metal ions that defy models based loosely on Earth’s atmosphere.

The space between planets is full of metallic dust and rocks. As they are drawn into a planet’s atmosphere, they burn up, leaving behind metal particles like iron and magnesium. On Earth, the behaviour of those particles is mostly controlled by the planet’s strong magnetic field. They use magnetic fields as a sort of highway, and stream along the magnetic field lines to form thin layers throughout the atmosphere.

But Mars has no such field. The planet does have small regions with weak magnetic fields in its southern hemisphere, but without a global field like Earth’s, it should not be able to form the layers that MAVEN sees.More.

Guess we’ll have to live with it, right? It’s good to be reminded of the dangers of too much certainty. 😉

See also: Was evidence for liquid water on Mars really discovered last year? Doubts surface.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

One Reply to “Mars’ metal layers shouldn’t exist?

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    From the article:

    These new MAVEN findings yield more questions than answers: how do the metal ions get so high up in the atmosphere? How do they form layers like Earth’s without a strong magnetic field? Why are they mixed in so well together?

    If Russell Humphries is correct about his theory concerning the magnetic fields of Earth and Mars, then this phenomena probably shows that a stronger global magnetic field existed at one time on Mars just like on Earth, but diminished over time. Another supporting data point for a young earth and young solar system.


Leave a Reply