About The Author

Thomas Cravens is a professor in the Department of Physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. His research focuses on: Atomic scattering theory, Physics of the interstellar medium, Data analysis for the ultraviolet nitric oxide experiments on the Atmosphere Explorers C and D, Theoretical modeling of atmospheres and the ionospheres of Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and comets including airglow, photoelectrons, energy balance, ion chemistry, and ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions, and Comparing results of ionospheric models with Pioneer Venus data.

The Loss Of The Martian Atmosphere Over Its Lifetime

The current atmosphere of Mars is tenuous, with a surface pressure only about 3% of Earth’s, and consisting mostly of carbon dioxide. Almost no liquid water is present on Mars, although the polar caps contain frozen water and carbon dioxide (dry ice). However, evidence exists from the rocks studied by NASA’s rovers, including the Mars