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Drying Mars in its past

Drying Mars in its past

R350/0216

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Credit

JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Drying Mars. Image 3 of 4. Artwork of thin clouds and wet areas (dark) on Mars billions of years ago. It is thought that liquid water existed on Mars early in its history, but was lost to space over time. This may have been due to Mars' weak gravity, thin atmosphere and weakening magnetic field. If liquid water did exist on Mars, there is a chance that life may have begun there. Numerous probes have so far failed to find any evidence for this, however. In the future, it may be possible to return Mars to a wet state artificially, and create an environment suitable for life once again. This process is called terraforming. For a sequence of Mars drying, see images R350/214-217.

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Model release not required. Property release not required.

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