The researchers said on Wednesday they slot xo observed water vapor rising high in Mars' thin atmosphere, offering tantalizing new clues as to whether the Red Planet could have life.Traces of ancient valleys and waterways indicate that liquid water used to flow across planetary surfaces. Today, much of the water is trapped in the planet's ice cap or buried underground.But some of it vaporized in the form of hydrogen leaking from the atmosphere, according to new research co-authored in the journal Science Advances by two scientists from the UK's Open University.
They detected the vapor by analyzing light passing through the Martian atmosphere using instruments known as Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery.The device is traveling aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint mission between the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos.This brilliant tool allows us to see a never-before-seen isotope of water in Mars' atmosphere, a function of both time and space," said Manish Patel, senior professor of planetary science at Open University.
The measurement of water isotopes is a key component in understanding how Mars, as a planet, loses water over time, so the planet's habitability has changed throughout its history," he said.It's a busy week for Mars research.On Wednesday, China's Tianwen-1 probe entered planetary orbit after its launch from southern China last July, becoming the country's first artificial satellite from Mars, and achieved its first goal. A three-stage mission: orbit, landing and tour.The day before, the United Arab Emirates "Hope" probe successfully entered Mars orbit, setting history as the Arab world's first interplanetary mission.
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