Out of all the other planets in our Solar System, none is more beloved (or more researched) than Mars. It could be because it`s our closest planetary neighbor, or because it`s one of the few planets whose surface is accessible to human machines or perhaps because it is so enchantingly intriguing.
Despite being the object of our affection and research for hundreds of years, Mars still has plenty of mysteries that us, humans, have yet to solve. Here are just the top 5 intriguing questions we still cannot answer about the Red Planet.
- Why is there Methane on Mars?
Methane is a molecule, which on Earth, is produced by life forms or by geological structures. So why is it present, in a stable form, in Mars`s atmosphere?
Could it be that there is life on Mars?
Scientists concluded that the methane found on Mars has only been there for about 300 hundred years, so it must have a recent cause. Other researchers theorized, that methane could be coming from volcanic reactions.
And there exists also a third theory that says that the methane detected by the machines we sent on Mars, is actually caused by the Rovers themselves. However, no theory has yet been completely proven or disproven.
- Why does Mars have two completely different sides?
In the northern part of the planet, the ground is very smooth and very flat, while the southern side is full of craters and very rough.
There are two theories regarding this matter. One of them says that the northern side was the home of a great, big ocean and that this is how it got its smooth surface. The other theory, says that Mars has been hit by an asteroid at some point in time, and this is what caused its different appearance.
- Is there liquid water on Mars?
While there is significant evidence that point towards the fact that Mars did once have water, for now it seems unclear whether or not, liquid water does still exist on its surface.
The theory here says, that because of Mars`s low atmospheric pressure, liquid water cannot last on its surface, but thin lines on the planet`s surface does suggest that water could be hiding just underground.
This just one of the reasons why NASA plans on sending a drilling machine on Mars in 2016.
- Were humans first born on Mars?
Thanks to the meteorites coming from Mars which were found in Antartica, a new theory was born. One that says that life began on Mars and it travelled to Earth through meteorites, where it found a better environment in which to develop.
- Can humans survive on Mars?
People are actually signing up and training for this project as we speak, but the hostility of the environment still presents too much danger for human life, for NASA to consider taking humans to live there without developing better technology.
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