According to a report using data from the ExoMars Mission, Mars loses water faster than assumptions and previous observations indicate.
Researchers from the CNRS say that the gradual disappearance of water (H2O) occurs in the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.
Sunlight and chemistry decouple water molecules from hydrogen and oxygen atoms that Mars ‘ weak gravity can’t prevent them from escape into space, they said.
The study published in Science confirmed that water vapor is collecting at an altitude of more than 80 kilometers in the Martian atmosphere in large quantities and accidental proportions.
Measurements found that large atmospheric pockets are even in a supersaturated state, and, according to the report, the atmosphere contains 10 to 100 times as much water vapor as its temperature.
The observed supersaturation levels would greatly increase water’s escape potential during certain seasons, the scientists said.
These results were obtained from the ExoMars mission Trace Gas Orbiter, financed by the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.