Water on Mars

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New Data Suggests Presence of More Water in Mars

: Mars, the ‘Red Planet’ has more water bodies, researchers say…learn more…

Tuesday, 11th May 2021

New evidence from the Red Planet suggests the possibility of the presence of liquid under the surface of Mars’ polar ice.

According to fresh intel obtained from a probe orbiting Mars and a study that was released on September 28 on Nature Astronomy, claims from three years ago that there is a lake present around 1.5 kilometers under the ice near the south pole, is getting more fuel.

Some of the same researchers who were involved in reporting the lake’s discovery, after analyzing the additional data, also allude to the probability of there being multiple pools around the central reservoir.  

In case of its existence, the central lake is expected to span approximately 600 square kilometers. Moreover, the water in the lake would have to be very salty so as not to freeze, a circumstance similar to subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

Also Read: Why are Some Stars Chosen as Constellations?

Roberto Orosei, a planetary scientist at the National Institute for Astrophysics in Bologna, Italy, said, “This area is the closest thing to ‘habitable’ on Mars that has been found so far.” Orosei was the lead figure in the 2018 report as well.

In the experiment that Orosei and colleagues conducted, they used radar onboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to probe the ice. While small bursts of radio waves bounce off the ice, others impale much deeper and bounce off the bottom of the ice. This reflects a second echo, the brightness, and sharpness of which can give out several facts about the terrain underneath.

The point of contention here is how the water continues to be liquid, as planetary scientist Michael Sori says, “There’s no way to get liquid water warm enough even with throwing in a bunch of salts.”

Smith thinks, not more than 50,000 years ago temperatures at the Red Planet’s south pole were higher due to its tilt. The warmer weather could have propagated through the ice to create pockets of salty liquid.

Another theory suggests the ponds may have been there before the ice cap was formed. In any case, with such high salt concentrations, it is hard to freeze water again once it has melted.

Now the big question is whether anything could survive in such water.

“We don’t know exactly what is in this water,” Orosei says. “We don’t know the concentration of salts, which could be deadly to life.” But if life did evolve on Mars, he adds, “these lakes could have been providing a Noah’s Ark that could have allowed life to survive even in present conditions.”

The News Talkie Bureau



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