Science

Evidence of Water on Mars?

Evidence of Water on Mars?”

While previous research unearthed possible signs of "intermittent liquid water flowing" on Mars" surface, a new discovery has now braced the possibility of "extra-terrestrial life'.

Finding that much water could be a great signpost in our search for life on Mars, but the results should be taken with a grain of salt.

After seeing what possibly could be dark streaks of salty water that flowed down the Martian dune during warm seasons, the planetary scientists were certainly delighted.

If others are detected and a network of subglacial lakes exists like on Earth, he said, that could indicate liquid water has persisted for millions of years or even dating back to 3-1/2 billion years ago when Mars was a more hospitable planet. But the MARSIS team had to use a new method of getting high-resolution raw data from their instrument, then had to combine three and a half years' worth of observations-29 separate radar profiles-before they were confident in their conclusion.

Information was gathered by what's known as the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument, which was deployed on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft, according to the agency.

"Since United Launch Alliance put a price on delivering water in space in 2016, researchers, agencies and companies have focused on water, for support of life and chemical processes, and for conversion to hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel", he said.

A massive underground lake has been detected for the first time on Mars, raising hopes that more water - and maybe even life - exists there, global astronomers said Wednesday.

"This lake, if it really is there, would be a prime place to look for life - after all, we have similar things on Earth, like the lakes buried beneath Antarctica, and life has been found to exist and thrive down there". It's the same as when you put salt on a road, said Kirsten Siebach, a planetary geologist at Rice University who wasn't part of the study. "There are microorganisms on Earth that are capable of surviving even in ice".

The question would be, Orosei added, whether any life forms that could have evolved long ago on Mars have found a way to survive until now. "This would confirm that IF it is true", Kral said. One NASA expert said more radar scans with different tools will help rule out false positives. And, say the authors, "there is no reason to conclude that the presence of subsurface water on Mars is limited to a single location".

But dissolved salts of magnesium, calcium, and sodium - known to be present in Martian rocks - are thought to maintain the briny miniature sea by reducing the melting point of water to minus 74C.



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