An ancient underground lake found on Mars

An ancient underground lake found on Mars

This beautiful ESA image of Mars’ surface is titled Cappuccino Vortex in Mars’ Antarctica.

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Bill Dunford

Be sure to pack a few arm scraps and a big drill in case you fly to Mars. Ponds full of water can lurk around the world beneath the southern ice cap on a dry, dusty planet.

A new study led by researchers at Roma Tre University in Italy Discover a lake hidden under the polar ice on Mars in 2018, And expand the find to include three new ponds.

The researchers originally detected liquid water using radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.

“Now, considering more data and analyzing it in different ways, three new ponds have been discovered.” ESA said in a statement Monday. Team Nature Astronomy Journal Study On Monday.

The lake appears to be hiding under a heavy layer of ice. The largest lake spans about 30 km across and has several small ponds around it.

Researchers expect water to have an incredibly salty taste to remain liquid at low temperatures. Separated A 2019 study suggested volcanic activity It can help keep the water from freezing, but the current paper is focusing on the salt concept.

ESA said, “It is impossible today for water to remain stable at the surface, but new results open up the possibility that the entire system of ancient lakes will exist underground.

Humans are busy looking for signs of life on Mars, especially evidence of ancient microbes. NASA’s new endurance rover will continue this quest From the surface of the red planet. The liquid reservoir is a particularly tempting place to find life, but reaching this pond will be very difficult. There is a mile (1.5 km) of ice along the way.

We may not have a big answer on Mars’ Antarctica anytime soon, but if our technology hits the challenge, it could be a future exploration target.

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