The Cosmic Chronicles – The Dead Water World

From the Earth, to the Sun and out towards the great interstellar unknown every object has it’s story. All these things making up the universe, our solar system and life on Earth is as much a part of this great infinite clockwork. In fact the word Cosmos means the universe as a complex, ordered entity, delicately tied together with forces and matter. We are the great paradox, the universe looking upon itself and learning, maybe giving it meaning. Epic and almost unimaginable events have unfolded to make the Cosmos as we see it now, stories have unravelled before there was even a human around to tell the story. Long after the human race is gone the great cosmic story will keep unfolding until time is meaningless. Slowly we pick up the events piece by piece and these Stories of the Cosmos tell some of what currently know and understand.


Mars – The Dead Water World

Mars – a world that has captured the imagination of man since Percival Lowell looked through the telescope and saw what he described as ‘canals’. Picking up on this idea the notion that intelligent beings lived on Mars far from being ridiculous – was considered a fact. Only to be proven when man eventually visited. However when mankind’s first robotic explorers visited, there was nothing but a cold, dead world of dustorms, dried up riverbeds and volcanoes that are thought to have last erupted long before mankind walked the Earth.

But still mankind looks for signs life even at the level of bacteria, past or present.

Mars represents the whole reason for mankind’s exploration of the cosmos, even though it’s so close to us it’s a guide for our exploration of the stars and the question of ‘are we alone in the universe?’
Although Percival Lowell did not see canals of water on Mars there was a time when Mars was thought to be abundant with water.

Mars – Credit NASA

Billions of years ago Mars was a very different world, water covered it’s surface in the warmer regions and huge glaciers, lakes and rivers. A huge scar across it’s surface a valley called Valles Marineris was carved into the planet when titanic volumes of melted glacial ice melted during volcanic eruptions. Millions and millions of gallons of water flowed and carved and shaped one of the biggest canyons in the solar system, dwarfing Earth’s Grand canyon.

What happened though? Where has the water gone?

The answer lies deep within the red planet, at it’s central core. On Earth we are privileged to see a phenomenon called the norther lights, caused by charged particles attracted by the magnetic field that envelops our world. This magnetic field, apart from giving us these spectacular light shows has a far more important function.


Earth’s magnetic field, generated from the molten core in the centre of the Earth protects and shields us from the storm of bombardment of cosmic rays from the Sun. Without this magnetic field this protection wouldn’t stop the Sun from stripping the atmosphere from the Earth and wipe out all life on it. The balance of life existence, so delicate in this universe means that Earth magnetic field means that the Sun’s energy is able to keep us alive – without it life would not be able to exist.

This is what happened on Mars.

At some point in it’s history, the core at it’s centre cooled, stopping the dynamo from within it from creating a protective magnetic field. From that point on the fate of Mars was sealed, the atmosphere of Mars was stripped and with it the water too. Oceans, lakes, glaciers all dried up and left behind a cold dead world where life as we know it cannot exist.

© Simon Farnell 2013 – 2022



2001 – An Art Odyssey

Any of my long time bloggiesw ill know that one of my favourite all time SciFi stories is 2001 A Space Odyssey. For quite some time I’ve been thinking about what piece of work I could do for this. Eventually I chose this one, alshtough I have to say now that I would have done … Continue reading 2001 – An Art Odyssey

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A Galaxy of Stars

A few weeks ago the sky was clearer than I’ve seen it for a long time and after seeing the success of someone else taking a picture with my same camrea I thought I would try the same settings and give it a go. The big variable with taking astrophotography pictures is the quality of … Continue reading A Galaxy of Stars

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