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Why is there so little water left on Mars?

By Franck Montmessin, Directeur de recherche CNRS au Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) – Université Paris-Saclay
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Mars is known for its thin atmosphere, where CO2 dominates and provides most of the atmospheric mass and pressure. In fact, the pressure is similar to that in the Earth’s stratosphere, which is a layer of the atmosphere, at more than 30km above the surface.

But what about water? Water on Mars is currently found on the surface as a layer of ice – several kilometres thick – at the north pole. It also appears as seasonal frost at the coldest times of the year, and in the atmosphere as vapour and ice. Nevertheless,…


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