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Scientists Say Mars may be Too Small to Accommodate Life

Scientists find that Mars is a planet too small to hold large amounts of water. The presence of water is important for the evolution of life. Researchers added that the search for evidence of liquid has inspired probes and studies of the Red Planet to confirm that humanity is not alone in the universe.

Professor Kun Wang, a senior author of the study and Washington University planetary sciences said that the fate of the red planet was decided from the beginning. There is likely a threshold on the size requirements of rocky planets to retain enough water to enable habitability and plate tectonics, with a mass exceeding that of Mars. Wang and colleagues studied the number of potassium isotopes present in Martian meteorites, using the element as a sort of tracer for more volatile molecules, including water.

The researchers found that during its formation, Mars lost more water and other volatiles than its larger Earth, while retaining more life-supporting molecules than smaller, drier bodies like the moon or the asteroid Vesta do. NASA’s  InSight lander had two big reasons to celebrate on Sept. 18. It marked the lander’s 1,000th Martian day on the red planet. It is also the day it detected a 1.5-hour-long Marsquake estimated to hit a magnitude of 4.2.

InSight landed on Mars in late 2018 and deployed its seismometer in December of that year. The lander’s stationary status make it seem less compelling than its wheeled rover kin, but the mission has revealed lots of new information about the red planet.

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