Mars is losing its atmosphere to outer space at a faster rate than Earth; know why
New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: Mars is losing its atmosphere to the outer space at a faster rate than Earth, a new study based on the observations made by ISRO’s MOM and NASA’s MAVEN missions has suggested. The loss rate, however, is altered by the changes in the upper atmospheric temperature.
All terrestrial planets in the solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars — constantly lose their atmosphere to outer space and the loss rate is determined by the size of the planet. As Mars is smaller than Earth, it is losing its atmosphere to the outer space at a faster rate.
Findings based on the Mars Orbital Mission and NASA’s MAVEN have further suggested that the global dust storms that envelop the red planet may be speeding up the planet's atmosphere loss rate, according to a statement released on ISRO’s website.
“The global dust storm significantly heated and expanded the Martian upper atmosphere so that at any given altitude, the densities are higher during the dust storm than without it. From these results it is inferred that the heating and expansion of the global dust storm lead to a part of its atmosphere quickly reaching the exobase altitude (which lies at ~220 km),” the statement read.
Any hot gages above the exobase altitude are more likely to escape to outer space. Hence, the study inferred that the 2018 global dust storm resulted in enhanced escape of the Martian atmosphere.
“This study reiterates the scientific potential of the MOM spacecraft and advantages of multi-spacecraft measurements in expiring the planetary atmospheres,” the statement read.
Posted By: Lakshay Raja