To deprive of Mars’s magnetic field could hydrogen

To deprive of Mars’s magnetic field could hydrogen


Lost Mars ‘ magnetic field could “drown” in the core of the planet. Excess hydrogen resulting from the splitting of water molecules and accumulated in the Martian mantle could stop convection (heat exchange) off so the magnetosphere of the planet forever. With such an assumption made by a planetary scientist at Arizona state University (USA) Joseph O’rourke held the Conference on lunar and planetary Sciences.

Currently accepted model explaining the nature of the internal magnetism of the planets, is the theory of magnetohydrodynamic Dynamo: a magnetic field is generated due to the convection flow in the liquid conductive core. In the convection process, the lower layers of the substance are heated, become lighter and float, and the upper layers, on the contrary, cools, becomes heavier and falls down, then the process repeats again and again. The flow of iron in the core of the planet, which can carry electric charge generates a magnetic field that protects the atmosphere from exposure to solar wind.

However, according to O’rourke, if the layers of lighter material, such as hydrogen, will settle closer to the iron core, they can block the denser layers of the substance from sinking down, halting the process of convection.

“Too much hydrogen — and convection processes can be stopped completely. Hydrogen is a ruthless killer,” said O’rourke in the course of his presentation.

The scientist along with his colleague Dan Shim from the same University hypothesized that a large supply of hydrogen in the bowels of the planet could appear from the water contained in the Martian minerals. Closer to the hot core would split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The chemical reaction of oxygen and other elements would hold it in the upper layers of the mantle of the planet, while hydrogen could settle almost to the core and thus effectively slow magnetohydrodynamic Dynamo.

The main question here is whether the minerals of Mars that need to deliver the hydrogen to the right place. Recent studies of the red planet indicate that Mars is rich in content of the mineral olivine, which is associated with bad water and is therefore relatively dry.

In the deeper bowels of the planet the pressure causes olivine to switch to minerals wadsleyite and ringwoodite, can contain more water. Deeper, these minerals turn into Brigmanis, which again becomes dry. For some time this Brigmanis could act as a buffer against water, allowing the kernel to continue the convection. However, as cooling of the mantle layer of pigmania would be squeezed and eventually completely disappeared, suggests a study O’rourke.

You Mars ever this life-saving layer of pigmania depends on how big is the core of the planet. This information can be obtained with a spacecraft’s Mars InSight, the launch of which is planned for early may, said O’rourke.

Scientists believe that about 4 billion years ago, Mars still had a magnetic field. The researchers struggled trying to explain how it disappeared, leaving the planet vulnerable to the harmful solar wind that probably blew its atmosphere and deprived of the surface water.

But if the hydrogen really blocked the convection of the core of the planet, in geological terms, everything will happen for a very short period of time. Previous research suggests that Mars ‘ magnetic field disappeared relatively quickly, in about 100 million years.