Public Lectures

What Caused the Rivers on Mars: Climate Change or Impacts?

Published on October 7, 2009

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Speaker:Dr. Brian Toon
Date:Wednesday, Oct 07, 2009
Time:7:30, Doors open at 7:00
Location:LSTB, 299

Seminar Abstract:

Since Mariner 9 took images of Martian river valleys in 1971, we have struggled to understand how they were formed.  Mars is thought to have had a dense atmosphere with enough greenhouse gases to have maintained a balmy, wet climate.  To date, no one has managed to construct a climate model to support this theory and the river valleys remain a mystery.  Recently, a new idea has emerged suggesting that asteroid impacts may have led to the release of water from beneath Mars’ surface.  This talk will explore how impacts could create rivers and Mars’ climate history.

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