Liquid water has been discovered under the surface of Mars, an exciting development! Liquid water is thought to be essential to all forms of life. Its discovery on Mars opens new doors to scientific endeavour.
Previously, scientists suspected liquid water once flowed on Mars’ surface. The red planet shows definite signs of having had lakes, oceans and rivers – their geological footprint is still there today. However, the present-day surface of Mars no longer has any liquid water – only some permanently frozen ice at the poles.
It’s under one of these ice caps that scientists have discovered a lake, buried 1.5 km under the surface of Earth’s nearest neighbouring planet. The lake, about 20 km large, is so cold that its water SHOULD be frozen – however, high concentrations of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and sodium allow it to remain liquid.
The discovery was made by radar using the European satellite Mars Express. Now, scientists hope to find more “underground lakes” in warmer regions of the planet – perhaps even near the equator – where life is more likely to thrive.
The full study was published in Science Magazine.
Source for this article: Radio-Canada