Ancient underground lakes discovered on Mars

This beautiful ESA image of the Martine surface at the South Pole of Mars is named Capuccino Vortex.

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Bill Dunford

When you visit Mars, be sure to pack some hand floats and a very large drill. There may be a world full of water-filled ponds hidden under the southern ice cap of a dry and dusty planet.

A new study led by researchers from Roma Trey University in Italy has strengthened the case 2018 discovery of a hidden lake under Martian polar ice, And then extends the search to include three new ponds.

The researchers used radar data from the Mars Express Orbiter of the European Space Agency to identify its liquid water core.

“Three new ponds have now been discovered, taking into account more data and analyzing it differently,” the ESA said in a statement on Monday. The team published its study in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday.

The lakes appear to be submerged under a thick layer of ice. The largest lake is about 19 mi (30 km) around which there are small ponds.

Researchers expect the water to be incredibly salty to remain liquid at low temperatures. Apart 2019 study suggested volcanic activity May help prevent water from freezing, but the current paper salt concept is heavy.

“While it is not possible for water to remain stable on the surface, new results today are opening up the possibility that an entire system of ancient lakes may be underground, perhaps millions or billions of years old.”

Humans are busy searching for signs of life – especially evidence of ancient germs – on Mars. NASA’s new persistence rover will continue this search From the surface of the red planet. Liquid water reservoirs would be a particularly attractive place to seek life, but these ponds would be extremely difficult to reach. There is 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) of snow on the way.

We may not get a big answer from the Martian South Pole anytime soon, but it may give us a future goal to explore once we challenge our quest.

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