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Primitive atmosphere and implications for the formation of channels on Mars

Yung, Y. L. and Pinto, J. P. (1978) Primitive atmosphere and implications for the formation of channels on Mars. Nature, 273 (5665). pp. 730-732. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/273730a0.

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The channels on Mars suggest that a flowing fluid has been present on the surface of the planet. It seems natural to assume that this fluid was water. The major difficulty, however, is that water freezes in climatic conditions like those now on Mars. It has been suggested that primitive Mars had a reducing atmosphere, composed mainly of methane. Such an atmosphere, as we show here, could be polymerised by solar ultraviolet radiation to produce higher hydrocarbons. These compounds are low viscosity liquids at today's temperature on Mars, and could contribute to the formation of channels.

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Yung, Y. L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 1978 Macmillan Journals Ltd. Received 6 February; accepted 3 May 1978. Y.L.Y. thanks Professor M. B. McElroy for valuable insights on atmospheric evolution, hydrogen escape and isotopic ratio and J.B. Pollack and O. B. Toon for discussion of present and past climates on Mars. This research was supported by Ames Research Center under NASA contract NSG-2283. J.P.P. acknowledges support by NASA grant NSG-5163 to Columbia.
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Issue or Number:5665
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140922-102041396
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49892
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Sep 2014 20:00
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:49

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