The Economic News Network of Buenos Aires, Argentina, published the title “Why is the journey to Mars so important?” “The article stated that Mars is the most habitable planet humans can reach. This makes it the best place to confirm the existence of life outside the earth.In short, the answer to the mystery of life can be found on Mars. The full text is excerpted as follows:
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Why is going to Mars so important? What is the significance of mankind’s exploration of this red planet?
The answer is clear. We currently believe that Mars is the most habitable planet humans can reach. This makes it the best place to confirm the existence of life outside the earth. In short, the answer to the mystery of life can be found on Mars.
Mankind’s exploration of Mars was first carried out through telescopes, and then through orbiting spacecraft and robots operating on the surface of Mars. We have discovered a fascinating planet. Although its size is much smaller than that of the earth, this little brother of the earth has a magnificent terrain. Its hills and valleys are almost the largest in the solar system.
On Mars, there is Mount Olympus, the largest volcano in the solar system, with a hill height of 23 kilometers; and the largest canyon belt-the Vale of Sails, with a depth of 7 kilometers at the deepest point. The canyon is winding and long and long. About a quarter of the Martian equator. In addition, Mars has the largest known impact basin, the “Northern Great Plain”, which covers 40% of the surface area of Mars.
It is this basin located in the northern part of Mars that makes the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars show obvious differences. Half of them are called the northern lowlands and half are called the southern plateau.
This is the so-called Martian dichotomy, and the difference between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere is obvious. The altitude in the northern hemisphere is almost zero and there are basically no volcanoes; while the terrain in the southern hemisphere is higher, with volcanoes everywhere.
The reason why Mars has two distinct faces is still unknown. However, the lack of volcanoes in the northern lowlands may be because it used to be a huge ocean.
The conclusion that there was liquid water on Mars in ancient times can be inferred from the dry channels observed in orbit. Volcanoes, such as the lakes in the Gale Crater area, the site explored by NASA’s Curiosity rover, also confirm this.
There is no doubt that this is the most important discovery of Mars robot exploration so far. It confirms that Mars is very similar to the Earth, and in ancient times there was a lot of liquid water on both surfaces. Later, the emergence of life on Earth made us think that this process might also begin on Mars.
Although it has not been confirmed, another major discovery on Mars is the detection of methane in its atmosphere.
On earth, almost all methane comes from biological emissions. It mainly comes from methanogens, although some geological processes also produce methane.
Therefore, the existence of methane on Mars can be explained as the result of the existence of life in the past or present.
Currently, research on the origin of Martian methane is one of the major challenges of astrobiology. At present, methane has only been detected above the surface of Mars, specifically, by instruments carried by the Mars rover Curiosity. But no methane was detected in the upper atmosphere, which is strange.
Theoretically, the methane detected on the surface of Mars will accumulate in the atmosphere. Before they are destroyed by solar radiation through photodegradation (a process that takes hundreds of years), they should be able to be carried by sensitive instruments carried by orbiting spacecraft. Caught.
There should be a mechanism that quickly destroys the methane on the surface of Mars and does not allow it to accumulate in large amounts in the atmosphere until it is detected by an orbiting spacecraft, but this mechanism has not yet been discovered by humans.
The latest discovery about Mars confirms that it still maintains some seismic activity. So far, the seismometer on the “Insight” Mars rover platform has detected more than 480 earthquakes, which undoubtedly shows that the red planet still maintains crustal movement. It was also discovered that the overall magnetic field of Mars was larger than expected, which enhanced the idea that Mars has earthquakes.
These findings help clarify the process Mars has gone through in the past. In ancient times, the atmosphere of Mars may be denser and warmer, and the surface of Mars was filled with liquid water, instead of being as cold, dry and arid as it is now.
Mosaic map of Mars Mariner Valley (NASA website)
Mosaic of Mount Olympus on Mars (NASA website)
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