Evidence detected of lake beneath the surface of Mars

26 July, 2018, 15:43 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • Game Changer’ Scientists Say Liquid Water Found on Mars			AFP		25 Jul 2018

In the case of this subsurface lake of water on Mars, the researchers say that it is likely stays liquid partly due to magnesium, calcium and sodium salts, which are common in Mars rocks.

Richard Zurek, the chief scientist in the Mars program office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said the complex, nearly chaotic structure of the ice caps could affect the radar signals in unexpected ways.

"Caution needs to be exercised, however, as the concentration of salts needed to keep the water liquid could be fatal for any microbial life similar to Earth's", added Watson, who was not involved in the research.

In recent years, planetary scientists and astrobiologists have been scouring the Red Planet for water, one of the requirements for life as we know it.

The team also suspects that while they have only found evidence for water at one location, it probably isn't the only subglacial lake on Mars. Where this water went and how, taking most of Mars' atmosphere with it, is one of the great and ominous environmental mysteries of our time.

An Italian team made the discovery analysing a radar survey that was done between 2012 and 2015 by the Mars Express orbiter spacecraft. So while a layer of ice and a layer of rock may both be weakly reflective, the boundary that occurs when ice sits on top of rocks will create a strong reflection that can be detected by an orbiting radar.

"This subsurface anomaly on Mars has radar properties matching water or water-rich sediments", said Roberto Orosei, lead author of the paper and principal investigator of the MARSIS experiment.




A study published on Wednesday in the journal Science has confirmed that liquid water is present on Mars. Orosei estimated the water temperature at somewhere between 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 degrees Celsius) and minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius).

But researchers are excited about the potential for future finds, because if liquid water could be found at Mars' south pole, it might be elsewhere too.

"This really qualifies this as a body of water".

Scientists from the National Institute for Astrophysics say it's the first conclusive proof that H2O exists there now, even though there's evidence of it having been there in the past. Orbiters have also revealed vast glaciers residing just under the surface, potentially accessible to any future explorers or even colonists that go there in the future. It also opens up the possibility that it is a reservoir not just of water, but of life.

The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft used radar to detect a lake of liquid water on the Red Planet. It sent radar pulses through the surface and polar ice caps and measured how the radio waves reflected back to Mars Express.

Mars might probably not be hospitable to life today, but when the planet was warm several millions of years ago, it might have hosted microbes - a theory scientists are struggling to confirm through various Martian missions that are now looking for evidence of past life. However, there are [analogous organisms] on Earth, in the subglacial lakes of Antarctica. The south polar layered deposits - layers of ice and dust - are seen to a depth of about 1.5 km. The blue triangle indicates an area of very high reflectivity, interpreted as being caused by the presence of a reservoir of water, about a mile below the surface.

Recommended:



Popular

Ferrari Pilot Sebastian Vettel won the pole
Sebastian Vettel's crash on lap 52 gifted Hamilton an opportunity to retake the lead back at the top of the drivers' standings . On lap 14, he passed the Haas auto of Kevin Magnussen for fifth, and then began his pursuit of catching the leading pack.

Trump's stand against Iran is correct: Israeli Ambassador to the UN
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday responded to President Trump's all-caps Twitter threat. Stand with the Iranian people - get information into Iran that will drive the Iranian regime insane ".

China's Xi opens BRICS summit in South Africa
He said 7,000 South Africans work in jobs affected by the metals tariffs and attempts to get an exemption from the U.S. government had been unsuccessful.

12 audio files sent to prosecutors in Michael Cohen probe
Avenatti has a history of taunting the president with claims to have more information on Trump's alleged indiscretions. In an interview Stephanopoulos earlier this month, Cohen said his family "and this country" have his "first loyalty".

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City won’t be record-breakers again
I don't like it when colleagues speak about me or my plans. "They are all good guys - and that's why I was disappointed for them". Asked who represents City's biggest threat to retaining the title, he said: "I think Chelsea".

Canadian women finish seventh at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco
The English won a pulsating quarter-final 24-19 that went into extra time after the scores were tied 19-all. We want this team to create its own history and legacy. "We've been preparing really well".

Demi Lovato 'Stable' After Hospitalization From Possible Heroin Overdose, Say Reports
TMZ updated its report, stating that paramedics were called to Lovato's home, where she was found unconscious. Lovato has always been an open when it comes to her mental health and struggles with substance abuse .

Another heat wave: 90s all week in Portland, maybe 100 this weekend
The sweltering temperatures also fueled two wildfires that broke out in the region on Monday. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening".

Liverpool boss Klopp expects pressure to win trophies
We will go again for the championship and each kind of cup but that does not mean I can sit here and we will get it. "All good. The 28-year-old spent the second half of last season out on loan at West Brom but now admits he is delighted to be back.

Tekashi 6ix9ine pistol whipped, kidnapped and robbed in Brooklyn
Tekashi is then said to have flagged down a passing driver, getting into the passenger's seat and begging them to call 911. According to the sources' account, the first thing Tekashi remembers is waking up in the back seat of the auto .