Scientists working on the Curiosity Mission sent to the planet Mars say that the changes in the amount and appearance of oxygen in the air in Mars cannot yet be explained by known chemical reactions or methods.
During oxygen gas measurements on the red planet, they found that the amount of oxygen contained in Mars’ air increased by 30% during spring and summer.
This increase is a case in point, though researchers are approaching the possibility of a solution.
Although apparently the cause of these variations is the geology or structure of Mars, astronomers do not rule out the presence of microbial life or organisms in explaining this process.
These results were obtained from an analysis of the data collected during six years on Earth and three years in Mars. This analysis was carried out in a chemical laboratory called ‘Simple Analysis’ installed in Curiosity.
Scientists have measured climate change in gases found just above the crater. The lower crater on the surface of the Galter crater Mars, where the Curiosity Mission landed.
The vast majority of Mars’ atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, while small amounts of molecular nitrogen, organ, molecular oxygen and methane gases are also found.
Nitrogen and organisms were shown to have normal climatic changes that depended on the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. They expected a similar change in oxygen, but that did not happen.
In the northern hemisphere of Mars, the amount of oxygen increased and the fall of each spring.
Scientists believe that extra oxygen may be generated by the breakdown of carbon dioxide or water molecules in the atmosphere. But it requires more than five times the amount of water present, while the breakdown of carbon dioxide is extremely slow and it can produce no extra oxygen in such a short time.
Dr Manish Patel of Open University in the UK says: ‘We know that sunlight on Mars causes carbon dioxide and water to break down and produce oxygen. What is not understood is why there is such a difference. This is more than we expected.
“You can measure the amount of molecules in Mars’ atmosphere, as well as measure oxygen,” says Dr. Timothy McKonocchi, a doctor at the University of Maryland in the United States. ۔ ۔ There is only so much water. “
Researchers have also considered the point as to why it decreases in the autumn season after increasing oxygen intake. One idea is that solar radiation breaks the molecules of oxygen into its essence, the atom, and these essences later dissolve in space. But when scientists calculated the process, it was found that it took at least ten years for oxygen to be consumed.
Then the seasonal increase in oxygen intake is not the same for years. The results indicate that there is something that causes oxygen and then exhaust it.
“There is a source of oxygen beneath the surface of Mars,” says McKonocchi, “in my view, indicating that there is a (oxygen) reservoir that is declining between the atmosphere and the soil.”
Some evidence of this is also found in NASA’s Viking landers who were sent to the Red Planet (Mars) in the seventies. In a box where Mars soil was present, when the humidity increased, the amount of oxygen increased.
But Dr. McKonocchi says the Vikings ‘temperature was higher than Mars’ levels in the spring and summer. Therefore, these results cannot be applied to Mars. “This is an important signal, but it does not directly help us in settling the mattress,” he said.
The atmosphere in Mars becomes more humid in the spring and summer. In winter, the ice melts on the poles. And then in the summer, water vapors keep coming out.
At that time, there may be a correlation between the moisture and oxygen emissions of the entire planet.
Surprisingly, the changes in oxygen are the same as those in methane, which is unexpectedly increased by up to 60% in the summer.
The presence of methane on Mars is not the least confusing because this gas is produced by organic or living organisms on Earth, and the presence of it on Mars can be due to certain mechanical or geological factors but below its surface. There is also a strong possibility of the presence of microscopic living organisms.
Oxygen can also be produced by microscopic organisms.
Therefore, the reduction of oxygen levels at the surface of Mars cannot be ruled out altogether because of biological factors. However, this is very difficult to prove scientifically.
This is likely to be significant, but we do not yet understand the oxygen depletion process to such an extent that it is considered an indication of the presence of life there.
In addition, the surface of Mars is not conducive to survival because one of the radioactive rays is absorbed in large quantities by the atmosphere of Mars, the other is greatly reduced in temperature and the third is extremely high water. Available in limited quantities.
“With the equipment currently installed on the Mars car, we are unable to detect that the increase in oxygen intake in the spring is vital,” says Sushil Atria, a professor at the University of Michigan in the United States. In contrast, nonphysical factors appear to be more closely related. So in this process we have to reject the role of microscopic organisms. ‘
However, they think that when we send a mission in the future, it will be equipped with devices that can be more helpful in detecting Mars’ habitat.
Dr. Petal says, “I believe in the history of Mars the possibility of some kind of biological process in its sub-surface, but as a scientist I can only say the things that can be observed, An unusual claim requires extraordinary observation. ‘
The idea that Mars’ oxygen is chemically imprisoned in the soil is closer to reality.
Scientists say the oxygen anniversary is extremely active and stays in shape and sticks to anything and returns to its original state in favorable conditions.
A solid compound called ‘perchlorate’ is found in the soil of Mars in plenty. It does not release its oxygen easily, but it may be due to exposure to powerful radioactive rays.
Professor Atria says, ‘At least three non-toxic sources of oxygen are found in chlorites, hydrogen oxides and certain minerals in the surface and the surface of Mars.
Over the past few decades, our knowledge of Mars has increased tremendously, but many nets still remain unresolved.