Millions of years ago on Mars, there was a nuclear explosion

11 Apr

MarsAmerican scholar, Professor John Brandenburg of the company Orbital Technologies Corp announced the theory that a few hundred million years ago on Mars, there was a large-scale nuclear accident – the explosion of the natural nuclear reactor, sleep half the planet with radioactive dust and debris.
However, other scholars have expressed doubts about the reality of this hypothesis.
According to Brandenburg, on Mars there are two components of the natural plant – ground water and uranium reserves. “There is evidence that a large nuclear reactor has been formed and operated in the western hemisphere of Mars. Apparently, the reactor produces enriched uranium-233 from thorium, and, apparently, was destroyed in an explosion, throwing large amounts of radioactive substances on the surface of Mars “- said in a report to the Brandenburg Planetological conferences in the U.S.
Scientists estimate that, on Mars a billion years ago, at a depth of about a kilometer there ore body, consisting of concentrated uranium, thorium and potassium. Due to the fact that Mars, unlike Earth, there is no movement of tectonic plates, the ore body remained intact, and it was supported by the nuclear reaction to produce heat. This process began about a billion years ago, when the proportion of uranium-235 in the field of 3%, and could be launched penetration into the ore body underground water.
A few hundred million years the reactor began producing nuclear fuel in the form of uranium-233 and plutonium-239 is faster than burn it. Strong flux of neutrons has also led to the formation of large quantities of radioactive isotopes of potassium.
At some point in the reactor went critical regime – the water has boiled away, which led to an increase in neutron flux and the launch of a spontaneous chain reaction involving uranium-233 and plutonium-239.
Due to the large size of the ore body and its position at a depth of about 1 kilometer, the reaction proceeded without the explosive destruction to fairly high degrees of burnout.
“The release of energy was disastrous and led to the ejection of clouds of dust and ash, as from the powerful impact the asteroid. This has led to the loss of radioactive dust and debris over much of the planet’s surface and this layer was enriched in uranium and thorium. Because of the explosion was formed cavity width about 400 kilometers “- the report says.
According to calculations by Brandenburg, the energy of the explosion was equivalent to the energy from falling on the surface of the 30-kilometer asteroid. However, unlike an asteroid impact explosion center was closer to the surface and the cavity formed by them was considerably less depth than impact craters.
Contents traces of thorium and radioactive isotopes of potassium indicates that a nuclear accident occurred a few hundred million years ago, in the middle or end of Amazoniyskoy era. To this catastrophe is also indicated by the presence resulting from nuclear reactions of gases – argon-40 and xenon-129 – in the planet’s atmosphere.
“The existence of such a large natural nuclear reactor could explain some puzzling features in the Martian data, such as high content of potassium and thorium at the surface and a large set of radiogenic isotopes in the atmosphere” – said the scientist.
Other researchers have expressed doubts about the reality described by Brandenburg disaster.
For example, Dr. David Beaty of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, notes that the current geological conditions as on Mars and on Earth there is the Millennium and felt a little abrupt changes.
According to scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lars Borg, particularly pointed to Brandenburg, may be associated with normal geological processes, and not with a nuclear reaction.
“We study the Martian meteorites for 15 years and know the details of their isotopic composition. But no one would have thought about the possibility of a natural nuclear explosion on Mars,” – said Borg.

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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Planet


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