On Earth, water molecules stick to tiny sea salt particles or dust blowing into the air to form white clouds. However, when it comes to Mars, the presence of clouds between the atmosphere has long been a mystery to scientists.
The new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows that actual Mars clouds can be formed by dust particles from destroyed meteorites .
This discovery may hold the key to explaining how cotton-like clouds grow in the atmosphere of the Red planet.
A graduate student at Colorado Boulder University and the lead author of the new article, Victoria Hartwick, said: 'Clouds are not just self-made. It needs something that can condense '.
The clouds on Mars make scientists headache to find a solution.
The presence of clouds between the atmosphere on Mars , where there is no sea salt, confuses experts, although previous studies have hinted that meteorite smoke, the remnants of meteorites are destroyed. cancel, may have created clouds near the poles.
Based on that theory, Hartwick and her team set out to determine whether this meteorite could create clear clouds in Mars's atmosphere, beneath other known clouds. is not.
Hartwick and colleagues combined data from Mars and NASA satellites with computer simulations that recreate the flow of the atmosphere. Successful simulations show that meteorites create clouds with the same conditions as on the Red Planet.
Every day 2 to 3 tons of small meteorites mainly affect the Martian atmosphere. When they are destroyed in the journey through the atmosphere, they release dust into the air.
While exactly why the dehydration Mars is still an open question, the current new study may be a tool to reveal information not only about the weather conditions on Mars today but also about the climate in the Red planet's past.