NASA announced today that its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) has helped them figure out why the Martian atmosphere is deteriorating. This information may help prevent a similar disaster on Earth.
The MAVEN researchers’ findings are published across several articles in Science and Geophysical Research Letters.
NASA’s answer for the deterioration: solar wind, made up of the particles streaming from the sun’s atmosphere.
NASA explains that MAVEN measurements indicate that the solar wind strips away gas at a rate of about 100 grams (equivalent to roughly 1/4 pound) every second.
In plain English, a series of dramatic solar storms hit Mars’ atmosphere in March 2015, and MAVEN found that the loss was accelerated. The storms were a result of solar wind.
According to NASA Mars, which was recently found to have water and is known to have been warm and fertile billions of years ago, is now cold and uninhabitable due to these storms, which stripped the atmosphere of important gases.