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Water on The Planet Mars
The Water Vapor in Mar's Atmosphere
Using the navigation cameras on its mast, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took these images of clouds just after sunset on March 28, 2021, the 3,072nd sol, or Martian day, of the mission.
There are Noctilucent (night-shining) clouds on Earth. There are also Noctilucent clouds on Mars. Noctilucent clouds are produced by water vapor in the mesosphere. Mesospheric water vapor is present both on Earth and on Mars and is highly variable. And its sources are speculative. No one has offered a plausible transport mechanism to get that much water vapor up that high - the mesosphere is thirty to fifty miles above the earth. A. I. Lazarev published in The Journal of Optical Technology (April 1999) an article titled, Noctilucent clouds on Mars. Lazarev attributed the presence of the water vapor in the Martian atmosphere and the very observable noctilucent clouds to the small comets proposed by University of Iowa space physicist Louis A. Frank. (See Cosmic Rain: The Controversial Discovery of Small Comets)
Zhurong reveals recent aqueous activities in Utopia Planitia, Mars. Published May 11, 2022 Science Advances.
There are three rovers operating on Mars. The most recent to arrive is China’s Mars rover, Zhurong. Last month Zhurong discovered mineral hydrate duricrusts on the Martian plain, Utopia Plantia, using spectral analysis on the rock formations near Zhurong’s path of travel. The mineral hydrates in these sedimentary formations have consistent hydroxyl signatures (hydrated minerals give off a hydroxyl indicating the presence of water or hydrates). These duricrusts indicates liquid water brines were present on the surface much more recently than previously thought possible.
BTW, the surface of Mars is covered with sedimentary structure:
It’s easy to imagine where all the water went. Mars’ atmospheric pressure (.088 psi) is less than one percent of Earth’s. Water boils at 0° C on Mars. It is not so easy to imagine where the water all came from unless you imagine it was delivered by Louis Frank’s small comets or some other extraterrestrial source. There is still a great deal of water and water-ice sequestered under the Martian soil and at the poles. The more we look around Mars the more evidence of H20 we find.
The Source of Water on Mars
You cannot do experiments in the past or in the future. For example: The experimental method in dendrochronology is limited to counting the tree rings. Everything else the dendrochronologist does is speculation. Much of it is quite reasonable. It’s speculation you can believe in - it correlates with history, etc. But a competent dendrochronologist knows dendrochronology is an art. He cannot time travel using tree rings - he can imagine what might have caused the tree rings to look the way they do - but… it’s imaginary. He can’t know. He was not there.
We can see Mars was covered with water. We can’t imagine how the duricrusts, formed by the water, and observed by the Zhurong Rover, could have survived for eons. The fierce wind erosion that currently is observed on Mars should have destroyed the formations long ago. We must speculate something - or quit thinking about it.
H.S. Bellamy in Moons, Myths and Men estimates that there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood. We are best acquainted with the flood story in the Hebrew scriptures. That narrative asserts it rained for forty days and forty nights. I speculate; If it did rain forty days and forty nights the source of that sort of rain was extraterrestrial. It would contradict everything we know about our present weather observations. It couldn’t rain globally for forty days within the system - because the global weather patterns and systems are rather precisely balanced. For example, hurricanes balance heat by dissipating the accumulating ocean heat as storm energy. Monsoons are another example. In fact, all the weather is an example. It’s a question of balance.
If there is something to this (these) prehistoric flood narratives, the something is extraterrestrial. Louis Frank’s small comet observations give substance to the something. I speculate the Martian floods and our world’s diluvian narratives come from the same small comet source. I offer no chronology, certainly not a synchronized chronology, but I speculate small comets are the source of Mars’ water-world past and they are presently the water vapor source of mesospheric noctilucent clouds.
The next episode in this occasional series is going to deal with water vapor in Jupiter’s atmosphere (.25%) - and that’s a lot of water vapor. No one understands how it can be there. Frank calculated Jupiter sucks in five-hundred small comets every second and that’s a lot of small comets. Stay tuned.