Large Liquid Water Lake Just Discovered Beneath the Surface of Mars

Large Liquid Water Lake Just Discovered Beneath the Surface of Mars

Large Liquid Water Lake Just Discovered Beneath the Surface of Mars

Scientists are eager to find signs of contemporary water, because such discoveries are key to unlocking the mystery of whether life ever formed on Mars in its ancient past, or if it might persist today.

An Italian team of scientists says it has strong evidence of a subsurface lake of liquid water on Mars.

An Italian team made the discovery analysing a radar survey that was done between 2012 and 2015 by the Mars Express orbiter spacecraft. "Most importantly, this allows liquid water, essential for life".

Since everything is a competition, perhaps this exciting discovery will inspire Donald Trump to improve NASA's budget to make sure the United States wins the race to Mars.

While Pettinelli said SHARAD's radar uses too high a radar frequency to see the signal, another researcher had a another take. The European Space Agency first deployed the technology involved 13 years ago, scouring the Martian terrain proved invaluable for Professor Roberto Orosei of Italy's National Institute of Astrophysics and his team. But they find the permittivity of the patch to be higher than anywhere else on Mars-and comparable to the subglacial lakes on Earth.

MARSIS is a low-frequency radar and altimeter that features operation altitudes up to 800 km above the Martian surface for subsurface sounding and up to 1200 km for ionospheric sounding.

A report on the discovery of the underground lake appears in the journal, Science.

A dose of realism: Liquid water in large quantities could be a real boon to any future Martian colonists.

Radar has found liquid water on Mars, but don't expect anyone to drink it

Almost 4.5 billion years ago, Mars had six and a half times as much water as it does now and a thicker atmosphere.

Outside experts have not been able to confirm these findings with other radar detections, like SHARAD, the Shallow Radar sounder onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

One of the ingredients that scientists look for in the search for life is water - not just trace amounts of humidity or ice that freezes and vaporizes, but stable sources of water - such as an underground lake or aquifer.

"If there is microbial life operating there, it's operating under conditions that would be at the very limits of what we know life operates under here on Earth", said Brent Christner, a microbiologist at the University of Florida.

"The fact that it's buried underneath the surface isn't a big surprise, because liquid water can not exist on the surface of Mars, it's simply not possible because of the atmospheric pressure is too thin", Enright said.

He suspects Mars may contain other hidden bodies of water, waiting to be discovered. The data also ruled out liquid CO2, which is not polarized like water and thus has low permittivity.

They obtained 29 sets of radar samplings, mapping out an area exhibiting a very sharp change in its associated radar signal, about 1.5 km below the surface of the ice and extending sideways about 20 km. "If that were to be liquid water, it would be only feasible if there will be large concentrations of salts within it".

Bramson said the Mars radar community remained curious about why SHARAD didn't detect water below the south pole.

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