Comee to think of it, I don't know. Wikipedia says its something called Jeans escape.
Cool. I didn't know about the solar wind and didn't realize the atmosphere is so thin that the mean free path was relatively huge.
Without spending any time on Wikipeida, this is my understanding. Without a magnetic field, harmful solar radiation penetrates the atmosphere and causes water to break down into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen then escapes to the sun, as it does here on Earth.
Oxygen makes rust and turns the planet red.
The wiki is worth reading. I wish someone who was good with statistical mechanics would update the entry for the matter escape mechanism.
Lots of different coupled processes going on. I hope the Mars missions get enough data to get somewhere. It seems to me if they can make some serious headway for understanding the Martian atmosphere maybe it would eventually lead to a better understanding of Earth's atmosphere.
I have learned and thought about many things due to this thread. I had no idea magnetic poles and atmosphere were related. The Earth's polarity, water's polarity, and the moon's effect ... wow. I wonder what the complete force balance on a molecule of water would truly look like.
It kind of makes you realize just how precious our earth is, we have nothing else like it currently.
And some more stuff on water on Mars:
More interesting Mars mysteries:
How can we possibly afford space exploration? Well, we could use the discarded telescopes of the security state:
awesome guys, i have cool stuff to read.
Best video ever to illustrate how glaciers are basically thick taffy:
'Ripping a hole in space and time':
And a special thanks to Sinij for that warp bubble article, it was full of awesome.
55 Canri e - 'space diamond':
"This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth," said lead researcher Nikku Madhusudhan, a Yale postdoctoral researcher in physics and astronomy. "The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite."
'Skydiver Felix Baumgartner breaks sound barrier':
Did Baumgartner not have a helmet cam? I haven't seen footage of the jump from his perspective...
This is the best i've seen of that footage so far, hope a 'full' version becomes available:
And just some more 'showing science is the awesome':
'Planet with 4 suns':
Gravitational lensing around a black hole.
Strong lensing is interesting. Weak lensing is downright sexy. Show some equations, bro.