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Martian Mystery Solved! NASA Explains What Happened to Water on Mars

NASA has identified the main culprit for the disappearance of water on Mars.

Faye Williams

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) just announced that they’ve found the answer to one of the biggest questions about Mars — thanks to the data gathered by the Mars, Atmosphere, and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. You see, MAVEN has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2014 and its recorded observations ultimately revealed some planet-shaking truths.

Based on past findings of various unmanned Martian missions, scientists have found clues that Mars was a habitable planet much like Earth about 4.3 billion years ago. It had oceans that were believed to be deeper than the Arctic Ocean.

The Red Planet is now a vast desert…but it wasn’t always that way.

Mars

Photo credit: NASA

But then Mars, which is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the solar system, became the virtual desert that it is now. It seemed as if its vast oceans dried up.

A solar storm on Mars that was caught on MAVEN’s camera provided the crucial clue.

The Big Question: So, What Happened to all That Water?

The prime culprit in drying up Mars is solar wind. Unlike Earth, which has a magnetic field protecting it from powerful solar wind blasts, Mars is vulnerable.

However, Martian atmosphere is still strong enough to stop the solar wind from hitting its surface. Solar wind is deflected around the planet. Then again, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a significant effect on the state of the planet.

This simulation shows solar winds blasting Mars.

Mars-2

Photo credit: NASA

NASA explained: “The solar wind blasts out from the Sun at around a million miles an hour, and can grab ions from a planet and strip them away. This is what seems to have happened to the gas in the Martian atmosphere.”

This means that Mars’ atmosphere was slowly being “eroded,” at the rate of around 100 grams of atmosphere escaping every second. Elements like oxygen and carbon dioxide — which are the important components for water and for the planet’s climate — kept on being sucked out until the planet had nothing left to give. (Not that it had a choice.)

In effect, Mars’ oceans evaporated, with components of water literally leaked into space.

Over time, precious elements were sucked out of the atmosphere.

Mars-3

Photo credit: NASA

Another Big Question: Will What Happened to Mars Also Happen to Earth?
Since were technically Mars’ “neighbor,” it has crossed out mind that its plight could easily be ours. NASA explained: “Yes, Earth is losing atmospheric particles all the time. But we do have a big magnetic field that shields us from brunt of the solar winds. So, we don’t need to panic until we lose that magnetic field, which could happen when the planet’s core cools down.”

Empowered by Knowledge

Science Alert writer Fiona MacDonald likewise emphasized: “Why do we need to know what happened to Mars’ atmosphere? Because once we understand that, we’ll be able to work out what happened to water on the Red Planet, and it could also hold clues as to the habitability of Mars in the future.”

How Mars Lost Water

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It goes without saying that we should know what’s going on in the world we live in. This way, we’ll know how to deal with inescapable phenomenon such as solar winds. That remains constant no matter which planet you’re in.

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Hacker Group Unmasks American Politicians as Ku Klux Klan Members

Hacker group Anonymous just released to the public the names of American politicians who are said to be members of the infamous Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Ann Nuñez

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Hacker group Anonymous just released to the public the names of American politicians who are said to be members of the infamous Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

The hacktivist group posted the list together with the politicians' email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses, through website Pastebin. However, they quickly removed the home addresses for fear of reprisal from the concerned parties. Of the names the group has published online, five were city mayors and four were Republican senators.

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UN Warns its Staff Against Rampant “Bullet-Planting” Scam in NAIA

Bullet scam in the Philippines continues, UN even issues internal memo to its staff as precaution.

Mika Castro

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The Philippines made waves in the international scene last week, with major news outlets reporting on the alleged "laglag-bala" (dropped bullet) or "tanim-bala" (planted bullet) scams that are rampant on its Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

As if the embarassing international attention and disgusted reactions from netizens and tourists all over the world wasn't enough, the humanitarian organization UN (United Nations) now released a warning statement to its staff who would happen to be in transit or would have destinations in the so-called "Worst Airport in the World" with the "Best Bullet Detection Technology".

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Americans React to the Philippines’ Phenomenal Love Team AlDub

“Two, young, good-looking people with interesting presonalities. I think they’ll hit it off.”

Grace Alviar Viray

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AlDub, a popular phenomenal love team from the Philippines, has been taking over their country and is now one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter worldwide. Composed of Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza, the couple have actually taken over the social media that they have created a buzz. Ask any Filipino and they can tell a thing or two about them. Their love story is a one of kind, and spontaneous which has made a lot of their Filipino fans crazy about them.

Now, the question is, how will Americans react if they actually get to know this couple?

Buzzfeed showed the video that started the hashtag #AlDUb to a group of Americans and they had different reactions about the pair. Did they like AlDub?

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