The red planet Mars

The red planet Mars, perhaps one with a few celestial bodies, which serves as the object of so many startling hypotheses and questions that are still waiting to be solved. Mysterious channels, mysterious "signals", strange flashes - this is far from a complete list of phenomena that the red planet Mars represents to humanity.

The red planet Mars, perhaps one with a few celestial bodies, which serves as the object of so many startling hypotheses and questions that are still waiting to be solved

What are the physical conditions on the planet Mars. Solving this problem would make it possible to reveal the mystery of life on this planet, which is of great concern to all. Numerous data indicate that the Martian conditions could be more or less suitable for some terrestrial-type organisms. To solve this problem, many purely astronomical methods of studying the red planet Mars can give.

The fact is that living organisms that inhabit the celestial body continuously interact with the environment, which can be detected even at a considerable distance. So, for example, on the surface of Mars there are dark spots, which have been conventionally called "seas". They change their color in accordance with the change of seasons. This phenomenon resembles changes in the color of terrestrial vegetation. But we need a method that would allow us to distinguish the results of the vital activity of living organisms, if they exist on a given celestial body from the results of purely inorganic processes.

You can, for example, study the optical properties of the Martian "seas" and compare them with the optical properties of terrestrial vegetation. When the first observations of this kind were carried out, there was a significant discrepancy in the properties between the plants of our planet and the alleged Martian living organisms. But when comparing the optical properties of terrestrial and Martian vegetation, it is necessary to take into account the difference of physical conditions existing on the surface of these celestial bodies. So, the gravity on the red planet Mars is two-odd times less than on Earth. The atmosphere of Mars is considerably sparse than the air of the Earth. In addition, the red planet Mars does not contain free oxygen in its "air" shell. Therefore, Martian plants, if they exist, release oxygen not into the atmosphere, but into the soil, or keep it in their root system, like some terrestrial marsh plants. Most likely, the modern inhabitants of the red planet Mars are low-organized microbes that can do without free oxygen.

Special mention should be made of the existence of water on the red planet Mars. It is known that on Mars there are no large open water surfaces. Such water bodies would have to give bright sunlight in the sun's rays. But no one has ever seen such glare on Mars. Liquid water should immediately evaporate, and water vapor quickly freeze and settle on the surface in the form of a thin layer of frost. Yet many Mars researchers believe that the red planet Mars has liquid water on its surface: this seemed to be convincingly evidenced by a decrease in the white spots located in the polar regions of the planet in the spring and summer (the "melting") of polar caps. Others believe that liquid water can exist only at a considerable depth, and the Martian plants, if they really exist, can extract it from there with the help of a developed root system.

In particular, we can assume that at first the red planet Mars could be richer in water than at present, and in those water spaces that covered the surface of the planet, the evolution of organic substances could go "by the earth's way" and lead to the formation of living organisms.

In addition, the spectral observations of Mars do not show signs of the presence of chlorophyll in the zones of the proposed location of vegetation. How does the process of photosynthesis take place in Martian plants? According to scientists, the role of chlorophyll in the plants of the red planet Mars is played by the so-called carotenoids, reddish pigments, which are also found in terrestrial plants, but play a secondary role. Perhaps, therefore, the Martian "seas" always have a reddish tinge.

Of particular interest are the famous Martian canals, first seen by the Italian astronomer Schiaparelli in 1887. It is a dense network of regular geometric lines covering the surface of the planet.

Later, the American astronomer P. Lovell compiled a detailed description of the Martian channels and the seasonal changes taking place with them. Lovell believed that the mysterious dark lines - none other than a network of irrigation facilities, built by intelligent inhabitants of the red planet Mars. Today it is known that all these formations have little in common with the irrigation system of Lovell. Some researchers consider the canals as vegetation zones, others - tectonic structures or peculiar cracks in the permafrost, and others - by the results of impacts on the Martian surface of giant meteorites. Finally, the fourth suggest the elevations, which in winter are filled with sand, and under the action of spring winds are again exposed.

With the development of modern mathematics, it became possible to approach the problem of channels from another side, namely, whether the whole network of channels resembles the formations inherent in inanimate nature, or it has features more characteristic of structures created by human hands. To do this, the researchers used graph theory. This theory studies the properties of geometric "networks", i.e., figures representing the totality of points (nodes) and the lines connecting them. Graphs are, for example, networks of highways and railways, irrigation canal systems, etc. From this theory it follows that artificial networks, i.e networks, resulting from the activity of living beings, differ in some ways from natural ones. A characteristic feature of networks formed in inanimate nature is the predominance of nodes of the third order, i.e. nodes in which three lines converge, while in networks of artificial origin nodes with four converging lines predominate. It turned out that the network of channels, which the red planet Mars possesses, consists mainly of nodes of the fourth order and belongs to the so-called communication type networks, i.e, it is very similar to the networks created by wildlife.

Very curious conclusions, led by the theory of graphs, make the elucidation of the nature of the mysterious formations of the red planet Mars an even more fascinating problem.