By: April Carson
Scientists have discovered three new lakes under the surface of Mars, each more than 20 kilometers in diameter. They report that these findings are consistent with what would be expected for liquid water on a planet otherwise known as Red Planet due to its history and composition which often includes frozen oceans beneath inhospitable ice caps!
This shifts our thinking about this planet as just some dead, uninteresting rock inhabited by weird bugs. This will very likely lead to increased funding for Mars missions."
Thanks to the MARSIS radar of the ESA Mars Express orbiter, a team led by Sebastian Emanuel Lauro and Elena Pettinelli have confirmed that there are saltwater lakes at least five kilometers deep under what's believed to be an ice cap on Mars. This discovery could change our understanding not only about how ancient life evolved but also current debates over whether or not we should colonize this planet.
The discovery of a lost and hidden series of saltwater lakes is more than just an interesting find. These subterranean bodies are considered by experts to be "the best preserved environmental record in the world." Now the question is not whether there was life on Mars, but if we can find it and where exactly would we look."
The images were taken via a satellite orbiting above Mars' Planum Australe highlands. Above this area, which is believed to be one of the oldest terrains in the solar system, lies an enormous glacier with a depth of as much as 1.5 kilometers (almost a mile).
"This is the first time we've seen anything like this on Mars," says Dr. Roberto Orosei, principal investigator of the team that uncovered the lake beds and co-author of a study published Wednesday in Science journal. "Finding water is one thing – but the ability to produce the stuff on demand so close to the surface raises our hopes of one day finding life on Mars."
As part of the study, scientists examined satellite images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, basing their research off of these incredibly clear images.
The discovery of new features on Mars has helped scientists learn more about what the planet was like in its distant past. Scientists have long wondered if there were any hidden gems below ground, and now we know that it is true! Satellite images from different space agencies are revealing some amazing secrets of this Red Planet-hidden treasures for all to see as they go along their way up high.
Each mission gets us closer to finding life on Mars. With the presence of water, there is a possibility for life to exist on Mars as well.
The water on Mars is a precious resource. New research has confirmed that there's much more than we previously thought and three new lakes have been found, meaning this planet may not be as dry under its golden surface after all!
The lakes found on Mars indicate that, at one point in its history, the planet may have been habitable.
The discovery of these lakes helps us better understand how long it took for Earth-like conditions to develop and prosper there as well as what geological forces shaped this area's landscape over time.
Welcome to the most recent discovery that is nothing short of a scientific breakthrough. Scientists have been finding evidence for water on Mars even before it was found, but only recent discoveries have made researchers more confident about life existing on this Red Planet!