Recent Discoveries On Mars!

Recent Discoveries On Mars!


From things we’ve found, to things we’ve deduced,
and things we’re aiming to find, join us as we explore some of the recent discoveries
on Mars! 7. The Evolution Of Water On The Planet
Without a doubt, one of the biggest and most important discoveries on Mars ever was the
proof, definitive proof, that water was on Mars at one time. And, that it’s technically there now via ice
caps that can be melted for human consumption. It was this simple fact that helped people,
and NASA especially, believe that we could actually live on Mars in terms of a colony. A space colony that is. Ever since then, scientists have been trying
to learn more about how Mars went from “wet to dry”. Enter the Curiosity Rover, a craft sent to
Mars several years ago, and is still active as of 2019. The craft has been surveying the planet, covering
over 13 miles in about 7 years (clearly it wasn’t built for speed…) and sending images
back to NASA while also taking in samples so that they can be observed from afar and
analyzed. The current location of the rover is in a
place called Mount Sharp. Specifically, it’s in a place on the mountain
called Gale Crater, which at one time was said to be filled with many lakes. The Curiosity Rover has been taking samples
from the clay that now resides in the crater since the lakes are long gone:
“This area is one of the reasons we came to Gale Crater,” said Kristen Bennett of the
US Geological Survey. “We’ve been studying orbiter images of this
area for 10 years, and we’re finally able to take a look up close.” What’s surprising NASA and others though is
that the clay that is being found is much more complex than what was seen in the original
observation photos taken from a probe years before. Making many curious as to how this was missed
by the craft originally. It seems to indicate that the reasoning for
the loss of water on Mars, and how it created the clay, is more complex than people realize:
“We’re seeing an evolution in the ancient lake environment recorded in these rocks,”
said Valerie Fox, co-lead for the clay campaign at the California Institute of Technology. “It wasn’t just a static lake. It’s helping us move from a simplistic view
of Mars going from wet to dry. Instead of a linear process, the history of
water was more complicated.” This may seem like a weird thing to focus
on, but considering man is hoping to colonize Mars soon, any and all information as to how
and what Mars is like on the surface and under it is vital for humanity to survive via using
the planet as a resource in the best way possible. 6. Methane On Mars
There are many things that make Mars a place to study, including the history of how it
became a barren red planet, and the mystery of whether there was ever any life on it in
the first place. Usually, people are quick to say that the
red planet has never had life, but these were also the same people who said that Mars couldn’t
have any water on it. And another recent discovery from the Curiosity
Rover may prove that life not only could’ve exited on Mars…but it good exist there now. Now before you start shouting, “Martians!!!”,
that’s not exactly what we’re talking about. Rather, we’re talking about the gas known
as Methane being discovered once again on Mars. Confused? Well, Methane is a gas that can be made both
naturally via the world itself (via a mix of land and water), but also via organic life. As certain kinds of microbes are able to literally
exhale Methane. Not unlike how plants exhale Oxygen. Anyway, in June 2019, the Curiosity Rover
not only detected Methan on mars in the Gale Crater, but it was at a level not previous
detected before on Mars. It was at 21 parts per billion, which is WAY
higher than anything previously. Thus making scientists wonder what exactly
is happing on Mars. Should this be organic life, it would mean
that microbes of some kind are likely living underneath the surface of the planet. However, like the good scientists they are,
NASA isn’t jumping the gun on this revelation just yet. As noted, the Gale Crater on Mars was once
a massive lake, and so it’s very possible that the Methane is somehow coming from a
natural reaction. Plus, the Methane output isn’t like the amounts
on Earth that is made by microbes. So they’re being cautious as they research
further: “With our current measurements, we have no
way of telling if the methane source is biology or geology,” principal investigator Paul Mahaffy
of NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement. Still…the idea and notions are there…maybe
there is some kind of life on Mars. 5. Massive Tsunami On Mars
The history of Mars is a topic that many scientists at NASA and beyond are trying to figure out
so that we can further dictate what we do with it in the future. And one of the biggest things they’re trying
to figure out are the major events that helped shape the planet as a whole. One big theory that has been thrown around
by many is that once upon a time, a massive meteor crash caused a massive tsunami that
helped create part of the landscape that we see now. The basis for this theory were rocks on Mars
that had a very distinct water-like pattern on them, one that would tie into the notion
that waves were going across them and then receded. Not unlike how they are at times on Earth. The problem many have with this theory is
that there’s still a distinct lack of proof as to whether it happened or not. But recent discoveries are pointing to Lomonosov,
a 90-mile-wide crater on the surface of Mars being the impact point for said crater. If that is the case, they can try to examine
it via the Curiosity Rover or another craft and can try and get samples from it. “Why does this matter?” Again, it’s part of the history of the planet,
and we already know that massive meteors and asteroids have hit Mars in the past because
of its landscape and other evidence that we have spotted. And, Mars doesn’t have a very thick atmosphere,
in fact it’s a very thin one which means that anything flung at it from the stars wouldn’t
have any resistance as it approached the planet. But not everyone agrees with this theory,
and thus research continues. Before we continue on with the many recent
discoveries on Mars, be sure to like the video and subscribe to the channel! That way you don’t miss our weekly videos! 4. Greenhouse Effect…on Mars? For those who don’t know, the Greenhouse Effect
is an atmospheric condition that traps key gasses within the atmosphere of a planet and
thus causes the planet to warm up, and if in the wrong amounts, become very uninhabitable. This what is happening on Venus right now,
and it’s threatening Earth via global warming via human constructs and such. Being that Mars doesn’t have a thick atmosphere
(it does keep some gasses in, but not like Earth or Venus), it seems kind of impossible
that it would have a Greenhouse Effect of its own, right? Well, yes, unless we make the Greenhouse Effect
ourselves. Believe it or not, the idea of “terraforming”
the planet to create a Greenhouse Effect on Mars was first purposed by scientist Carl
Sagan, and many have tried to either visualize or realize that concept in some capacity. However, trying to make a whole atmosphere
around an entire planet is…well, hard, and many scientists agree that Mars may not have
enough natural resources to make that happen. But, scientists are now saying that this could
be possible in a more regional way. Meaning that they could create it in a massive
area without having to try and do it to the whole planet. Check it out:
“This regional approach to making Mars habitable is much more achievable than global atmospheric
modification,” said Robin Wordsworth, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Department
of Earth and Planetary Science. “Unlike the previous ideas to make Mars habitable,
this is something that can be developed and tested systematically with materials and technology
we already have.” “Mars is the most habitable planet in our
Solar System besides Earth,” said Laura Kerber, Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. “But it remains a hostile world for many kinds
of life. A system for creating small islands of habitability
would allow us to transform Mars in a controlled and scalable way.” I’m sure this is still very hard to picture,
so let me put it this way. Imagine that Earth’s atmosphere was dying,
and we couldn’t save the whole planet because of it. But, we had enough technology and skill to
make Asia surrounded by an artificial atmosphere that would be just like our own. That’s kind of what they’re proposing, albeit
on a much smaller scale. Still, if this is true, and they can make
this work, it would mean that life on Mars wouldn’t just be probable, it could be just
like Earth if done right. And that’s very impressive. 3. Creation Of “Blue Clouds”
As we’ve noted, Mars is known as the “Red Planet” because of the color of its surface,
and yet, when it comes to its sky (which again has an atmosphere that’s very thin compared
to Earth’s), there is an oddity that just doesn’t seem to make sense. Mainly, it has clouds, blue clouds, and for
the longest time no one really know where they came from. But now, a study from scientists studying
Mars seems to indicate that “clouds” are nothing more than smoke, smoke caused by meteors and
other space rocks slamming into the surface of Mars. The study alleges that every day, 2-3 tons
of meteors, comets, and more hit the surface of the planet. And when they do, they bring up smoke particles
into the air, and thus create a kind of “blue cloud”. This was tested via computer simulations,
and it seems to back up their hypothesis. Furthermore, the tests indicate that these
meteor impacts actually help raise the temperature of the planet at points. And they even state that this could mean bits
of other worlds (which is where meteors and such come from in parts) are affecting Mars,
and possibly even Earth! “We’re used to thinking of Earth, Mars and
other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates,”
lead study author Victoria Hartwick, a graduate student in the University of Colorado’s Department
of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, said in a statement. “But climate isn’t independent of the surrounding
solar system.” 2. A Hole In the Atmosphere
The atmosphere of Mars is a very curious thing. Because you might even be able to think that
it doesn’t have an atmosphere at all because of the condition of the planet. But that’s not exactly true. It does have an atmosphere as we’ve noted,
it’s just not that good. It’s thin, VERY thin, and though some gasses
are trapped on the planet, they’re not kept in the numbers or amounts we would need to
survive. Plus, scientists are now saying that the atmosphere
is so thin and so bad that every two years, a hole literally opens up in the atmosphere. For the record, if this happened on Earth,
we’d basically be dead. On Mars though, the effects are slightly different,
but still profound. Mainly, due to the now dramatic opening into
space, all the water that is on the planet (ice or particles or what not) are literally
sucked into space via the opening. Scientists believe that this revelation is
a big reason for why Mars is so barren in terms of water outside of its polar ice caps. As part of the “Martian Water Cycle” has droplets
in atmosphere migrating to the polar ice caps, and then the hole in the atmosphere will open
up, and suck the water away. Should this be the case, we would need to
account for that when we try and colonize Mars ourselves. 1. The Star Trek Logo
Sometimes the best discoveries in the world come from simply looking at things on the
surface of something. Humanity is still trying to observe every
inch of Mars to help us get a better understanding of the planet at large. And the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently
found something in the Hellas Planitia, a large plain within the Hellas impact basin
in the southern hemisphere of Mars, that has caught the eye of pretty much everyone. The Star Trek Star Fleet Logo. No, really, check it out! It almost literally is the Star Fleet logo
from the legendary TV series and subsequent movies. Sure, it’s not a perfect match, but it’s hard
not to recognize that symbol if you’ve watched something from the long-running franchise. “Enterprising viewers will make the discovery
that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo,” the University of Arizona,
which manages the MRO HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, said in
a statement. “You’d be right, but it’s only a coincidence.” Sure, it’s a coincidence, one made by many
natural effects on Mars as scientists deduced. But the fact remains…Star Trek is on Mars! Which is poetic, because the series over the
years has talked about how Star Fleet colonized Mars and it led to many key decisions about
law and ethics and its people in order to build the Star Fleet that we get in the main
series. Of course, they had colonized the planet before
2019…so we’re a bit behind schedule. Get moving NASA! We need to go where no man has gone before! Thanks for watching everyone! What did you think of these discoveries on
Mars recently? Which do you think will have the biggest impact
on us as we try and colonize the planet? Which of them do you think will lead to something
big happening? Let me know in the comments below, be sure
to subscribe, and I’ll see you next time on the channel!

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