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Why is there so much dry ice on Mars?

Posted: Tuesday May 12


Why is there so much dry ice on Mars?
whether mars has existed the water resources on which life and humans depend has been the biggest motivation for scientists to study mars. recently, according to the russian communist youth league pravda reported that the discovery of dry ice reserves on mars is 30 times the predicted value, will undoubtedly stimulate with a new round of research interest, people who ask about science can't help but wonder, why is there so much carbon dioxide dry ice on mars?

the gas on mars (95.3%) is carbon dioxide, which provides conditions for the formation of dry ice

(1) the atmosphere on mars is quite different from the atmosphere on earth.

the thin atmosphere of mars is mainly composed of the remaining carbon dioxide (95.3%) plus nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), trace oxygen (0.15%) and water vapor (0.03%) . the average atmospheric pressure on the surface of mars is only 500-700 mpa, which is less than one percent of the earth's atmosphere. the vertical distribution of martian atmospheric temperature is also different from the earth: from the surface to an altitude of 50 kilometers.

(2) the greenhouse effect of mars is much smaller than that of the earth

although the main gas on mars is carbon dioxide (95.3%), because the planet ’s main source of heat is the sun, the effective heat radiation received by mars is too small for too long a distance, making the average temperature of mars no more than -70 degrees celsius. of dry ice was able to exist. if there are more humid gases in the earth's atmosphere, it will produce a stronger greenhouse effect. although the thin atmosphere of mars can also create the greenhouse effect, those that can only raise the surface temperature by 5 ° c are much less than what we know about venus and earth.

distribution of dry ice on mars

(1) the large amount of mars dry ice reserves discovered this time

according to the report of the russian communist youth league pravda, scientists recently discovered that there is a large amount of dry ice in the antarctic region of mars after analyzing the images returned by the u.s. mars survey orbit satellite. according to calculations, its reserves are about 12,000 cubic meters, which is equivalent to the volume of lake superior in north america. this capacity is more than 30 times higher than the previous value predicted by scientists.

(2) the poles of mars are permanently covered with solid carbon dioxide dry ice

the structure of this ice cover is cascading. it is formed by alternately stacking the ice layer and the changing carbon dioxide layer. in the summer in the north, carbon dioxide completely sublimates, leaving the remaining layer of ice water. because the carbon dioxide in the south has never completely disappeared, we cannot know whether there is also a layer of ice water under the ice in the south. the cause of this phenomenon is not yet known, but it may be due to climate change caused by long-term changes in the angle between the martian equatorial plane and its orbit. perhaps there is also water deeper below the surface of mars. this change in the bipolar cover due to seasonal changes caused mars's air pressure to change by about 25% (measured by the viking).

how a lot of dry ice formed on mars

why is there so much dry ice on fiery red mars? maybe it's water?

(1) scientific understanding of mars

mars is the fourth planet in the solar system from the inside to the outside. it is a terrestrial planet, half the diameter of the earth, and has a similar rotation axis inclination angle and rotation period. it takes twice as long to make one revolution. the orange-red appearance is due to the surface hematite (iron oxide). mars is basically a desert planet, with dunes and gravel on the surface, and there is no stable liquid water body. the atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide is both thin and cold, and sand and dust are suspended in it, and dust storms often occur every year. both poles of mars have polar caps composed of water ice and dry ice, which will grow and fall with the seasons.

(2) reasons for the formation of massive dry ice on mars

scientists have conducted in-depth discussions around these issues. scientists have discovered through research that the formation of massive dry ice on mars is closely related to mars' atmospheric movement and its own rotation and movement. rodger phillips, an astrophysicist at the southwest research institute in colorado, said that assuming that water exists on the surface of mars, the motion of mars will cause the angle of its orbit and the surface to change, which in turn will trigger the flow of surface water, which will cause a martian storm increasing frequency and intensity.

reasons for the increasing dry ice on mars

it is estimated that the change in the mars turning angle will only occur several times every 100,000 years. through the calculation of the movement of the mars model in the computer, it is known that the temperature difference between mars and day is very large, and the speed of carbon dioxide solidification into dry ice in its polar regions is higher than that of dry ice gasification into carbon dioxide. it is for this reason that the mars polarities are caused. dry ice is increasing.

dry ice and carbon dioxide on mars are constantly changing

scientists believe that these dry ices are mainly formed from carbon dioxide, and a large part of them are likely to form in the gaseous state and float in the martian atmosphere in the early stage. robert haber, a scientist at nasa's california research center, said that with the rotation of mars and the movement of the atmosphere, the temperature of mars will continue to change. low temperatures in the martian polar regions will cause carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to solidify on the surface of mars. however, with the movement of mars and the change in the intensity of light radiation, the solid dry ice will vaporize again and enter the martian atmosphere again, which occurs in the martian cycle.


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