Another day, another step forward for science! The latest astronomic discovery has to do with a large group of lakes, buried under the red planet’s icy surface. Can it really be the case of water on Mars?
How is this possible?
Research shows that billions of years ago, this planet was warmer. Therefore, water could have flowed in the shape of rivers and lakes. Nowadays, despite the permanent polar ice caps on Mars, scientists came across an exciting possibility. Liquid water might be trapped under them! This happened earlier in 2018, when a team of Italian researchers used radar data from an instrument called MARSIS to explain the bright reflections coming from beneath the planet’s surface. Although skeptical, scientists continued their search for proof, and ultimately found more.
A new discovery!
The European Space Agency sent out another spacecraft, the Mars Express, and gathered more interesting observations from 2012 to 2019. The radar instrument signals the kind of material buried under the Martian ice, whether it be rock, ice or water, in this case. Not only that they found the previously discovered “lake” from 2018, but they detected 3 more bodies of water. These are estimated to be about 75,000 square kilometers and could have represented a potential life source for living creatures on Mars.
Is this theory 100% viable?
The question of water on Mars remains a topic for debate. Some scientists believe that, even if there is a small chance for the underground lakes to actually exist, the salt levels required to maintain the water in liquid form could never be home to any living creature. One similar situation is that of the ice pools in Antarctica. Although sea life exists there, microbiologists confirmed that it is merely “pickled”, not actually living. Another counterargument for the existence of water under the martian ice caps is the fact that an impressive heat flow would be necessary to keep the liquid flowing, which could not be the case on Mars.
Even though this discovery isn’t completely certain, the possibility of life on other planets is still an exciting prospect. Who knows what the next revolutionary find will be?
For another space-related article, read here how A SpaceX prototype spaceship exploded seconds after launch!