In the latest research published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists provided further evidence of this saltwater underground lake, which is expected to span 12 to 18 miles (20 to 30 kilometers) and is buried on an icy surface Within 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) below.
Even more fascinating is that they also identified three smaller water bodies surrounding the lake. These ponds vary in size and are separate from the main lake.
About 4 billion years ago, Mars was as warm and humid as the Earth. But the red planet eventually became a barren, dry world that is still today.
The research team, led by Sebastian Emanuel Lauro of the University of Rome, used a method similar to that on Earth to detect lakes in the Antarctic and Canadian Arctic regions. Their results are based on more than 100 radar observations conducted by the Mars Express from 2010 to 2019; the spacecraft was launched in 2003.
All this potential water increases the possibility of microbial life on or inside Mars. Scientists point out that high concentrations of salt are likely to freeze water in this cold place. The surface temperature of Antarctica is estimated to be negative 172 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 113 degrees Celsius) and gradually warms with depth.
The researchers wrote that these waters may be biologically interesting, “Future missions to Mars should target this area.”
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