Water Discovered In Underground Lake On Mars
Liquid water is refreshingly abundant on moons in the outer solar system, but it has proven surprisingly tough to find in reliable quantities on Mars—until now.
Radar scans of the red planet suggest that a stable reservoir of salty, liquid water measuring some 12 miles across lies nearly a mile beneath the planet’s south pole. What’s more, the underground lake is not likely to be alone.
“There are other areas that seem to be similar. There’s no reason to say this is the only one,” says Elena Pettinelli of Italy’s Roma Tre University, a coauthor of the paper reporting the discovery today in the journal Science.
If confirmed, the buried pocket of water could answer a few questions about where Mars’s ancient oceans went, as well as provide a resource for future human settlements.
Even more thrilling for astrobiologists, such a feature may be an ideal habitat for extraterrestrial life-forms.
“In this kind of environment that we know of on Earth, in the Antarctic, we have bacteria,” Pettinelli says. “They can be deep in the ice.”
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