Surface Chemistry

Powerful electrical events quickly alter surface chemistry on Mars and other planetary bodies

Thinking like Earthlings may have caused scientists to overlook the electrochemical effects of Martian dust storms. On Earth, dust particles are viewed mainly in terms of their physical effects, like erosion. But, in exotic locales from Mars to Venus to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, electrical effects can affect the chemical composition of a planetary body’s surface and atmosphere in a relatively short time, according to research from Washington University in St. Louis.