Scientists have found large bodies of water hiding underneath the surface of Mars.
Today we are closer than ever to discovering alien life on Mars. Scientists have detected a lake with flowing hiding just underneath the surface of Mars.
While it had been speculated before, it is the first time we find a stable body of water on Mars. The lake, which lies underneath the south pole of Mars, stretches about 20 kilometers across.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) July 25, 2018
Whether the planet has life or not remains unknown, but now we know that it is capable of sustaining life to some extent.
To find the lake, scientists used the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (Marsis), a high-tech instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft.
Marsis uses radar pulses to penetrate the surface and ice caps of the planet, bringing back images of what lies beneath.
By cross examining data from 2012 with data from 2015, scientists found that there was a big change in the outcome at one spot, around 1.5 kilometers under the surface.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) July 23, 2018
What first seemed to be a glitch or incomplete data could only be confirmed as a body of water.
The data is very similar to that from Antarctica and Greenland, where scientists find underground (underice) lakes all the time.
Although Mars was once a lot warmer and wetter than it is today, it is much colder than it is in the Antarctic, which makes flowing water hard to exist.
But if the planet’s polar glaciers are anything like those here on Earth, then a network of subglacial lakes might exist, meaning that a lot of water is hiding under that rigid surface.