Mars, the red planet, has always attracted the attention of scientists and astronomers. Its resemblance to Earth and the opportunity to learn more about our planet’s evolution and history make the study of Mars’ climate especially important. Recent data from the Mars rover Zhurong indicates a major climate change that occurred about 400,000 years ago.
Analysis of Martian dunes by an international team of researchers showed a dramatic shift in the prevailing wind direction on the southern Utopian plain. The wind changed its direction by nearly 70°, moving from northeast to northwest. This wind change led to the formation of dark longitudinal ridges on the dunes, which previously had a crescent shape during the Ice Age.
One possible reason for this change in climate on Mars could be a shift in the angle of the planet’s axis of rotation. Researchers speculate that this shift may have caused the end of the last ice age on Mars. These assumptions are supported by the morphological, orientation and physical characteristics of the dunes of the southern part of the Utopian plain.
Studying the climate of Mars is important not only for understanding the evolution of this planet, but also for expanding our knowledge of climate processes in general. Professor Li Chunlai, principal investigator at the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, notes that studying the climate of Mars allows us to better understand the history and evolution of Earth and other planetary bodies.
These new discoveries open up new possibilities for further research on Mars and its climate. A detailed study of dune formation and weather patterns will help refine models of general circulation on the planet and predict small-scale changes in seasonal wind direction. Matching data on wind, dune stratigraphy, and the presence of ice and dust in the middle and high latitudes of Mars plays an important role in understanding the climatic processes on this planet.