The Solar Wind Did It

At today’s briefing, NASA scientists announced that data from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has confirmed that the solar wind plays a leading role in stripping away the Martian atmosphere, which was once thick enough to support abundant liquid water on the surface.

That’s not a new theory, and it’s hardly surprising that a planet with a third the gravity of Earth and a negligible magnetic field would be susceptible to the effect of solar wind, at least compared to Earth.  However understanding the mechanisms at work helps us to understand Mars’ past as well as its future.  I’m particularly interested in the impact these findings have on the potential for eventually terraforming Mars.