Scientists have proposed a new method for processing information about gravitational anomalies on planets. It allowed us to confirm the existence of an ocean in the past of Mars. In addition, scientists found traces of numerous lakes that were once located in the middle of the Sahara on Earth.
Gravitational anomalies confirmed the existence of an ocean on Mars
The researchers used a new method of studying gravitational anomalies to confirm the existence of an ocean on Mars in the past. An article about this was published in the Icarus magazine. Its authors are several researchers from the Czech Republic and Alaska.
They not only confirmed that there was an ocean in the Northern Hemisphere of the red planet several billion years ago, but they were also able to determine its boundaries more accurately than ever. The existence of such a large amount of water on Mars in the past significantly increases the chance that something interesting can be found on it now.
Gravitational anomalies previously used to deal with the terrain. They are very small, but measurable deviations in gravity, which are fixed over various parts of the planets. It is known that gravity is stronger over the mountains, and the seas and oceans, on the contrary, change it in a smaller direction.
What is the new method
The method proposed in the new study is based on the analysis of aspects of gravity anomalies. These are the initial abstract parameters obtained by mathematical processing of anomaly data. However, according to the main developer of this method, Gunther Kletetschka, they give the ability to determine the position of reservoirs that once existed and then disappeared much better than anything that was invented earlier.
In order to verify this in the case of Mars, scientists used data from the Global Surveyor probe. In the late 1990s, it explored the surface of the red planet for 4.5 years using a laser altimeter. And now these data have helped to verify the conclusions made based on the analysis of gravitational anomalies.
Kletetschka also checked his research on Earth. Back in 2017, he suggested that the Grand Egyptian Sand Sea was once a lake; it now has only sand in it. Now he has confirmed that his method allows scientists to accurately determine the boundaries of lakes that once covered the Sahara.
The fact that there used to be large reservoirs and even rivers on the territory of the Earth’s largest desert was confirmed by a bunch of other studies. The new method allows us to define their exact contours more precisely. In addition, the researchers are convinced that in the future it can be used for more accurate mapping of Venus, the surface of which is always hidden from us under a layer of clouds.
According to phys.org
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