Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed in mars

Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed in mars

Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed in mars

The reservoir - which is approximately 20 kms in diameter and is shaped like a rounded triangle - is the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars.

Today, a team of Italian scientists announced evidence that Mars has lakes of liquid water under its polar ice caps.

The lake was discovered in the Planum Australe region using the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) instrument.

"It's probably not a very large lake", Prof Roberto Orosei (via BBCNews) from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, who led the study said.

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. The nature of reflections off the subterranean features offer scientists information about exactly what lies beneath the surface and the data says there is liquid water.

For the past 12 years, a spacecraft-mounted radar called MARSIS has been sending radio waves down to Mars, which reflect back information about the make-up of the planet below.

There is already speculation about the presence of these "extremophiles" in the salty subsurface oceans discovered inside some of the icy moons in our solar system.

This discovery of a salty subsurface lake, on an object much closer to the Sun, and much larger than a moon, is even bigger news.

Radar has found liquid water on Mars, but don't expect anyone to drink it
Huge lake of salty water found buried deep in Mars

"This really qualifies this as a body of water". In Earth's polar regions, the pressure of the overlying ice lowers its melting point, and geothermal heat warms it from below to create the subglacial lakes.

Liquid water hanging out beneath the planet's surface, which is too hot for it to survive, has been a suspected reality for years.

Another ground-penetrating radar is aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, called SHARAD, which is short for "shallow radar".

Over the course of the survey, Orosei and colleagues obtained 29 sets of radar samplings, mapping out an area exhibiting a very sharp change in its associated radar signal, just under a mile (about 1.5 kilometers) below the surface of the ice and extending laterally for about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers).

Stofan says finding liquid water is something scientists are extremely interested in scientifically, "because life here on Earth evolved in liquid water.

Those are not ideal conditions for life to form", Siebach said. It's less powerful in some ways, although if there were a pool of pure water, it is possible that its instruments could find it.

"We do not know the exact temperature, salinity, etc. of this body of water, but it is tempting to think that [it] may be similar to terrestrial environments in which life is able to thrive". The detection of a long-standing reservoir of liquid water is thrilling evidence of an idea that first began to be debated three decades ago: that there could be water at the base of Mars' ice caps, similar to what's present on Earth. The data also ruled out liquid CO2, which is not polarized like water and thus has low permittivity.

According to the journal Nature, if further studies confirm the existence of a lake, it could open new avenues for investigating Mars.

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