Huge Reservoir Of Liquid Water Discovered On Mars
Time to get excited, people. After years of searching space, wondering what’s out there and teasing us with theories and possibilities, scientists have just made a massive breakthrough.
A huge lake has been found. On Mars. There is officially water on Mars. Which means, dare I say… is there life on Mars?
The vast body of water was found underneath Mars’ southern pole, and is 20km wide, according to the Independent.
The exciting discovery was found by scientists using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. The instrument sends out radar pulses that penetrate the planet’s surface.
The team of scientists, led by Roberto Orosei examined the data the MARSIS recorded between May 2012 and December 2015, and found that there was a very sharp change in the radar signals in an area roughly 1.5km beneath the surface of the planet.
The data recorded is apparently similar to the lakes of liquid water found beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets on Earth.
And, what’s more exciting, scientists have suggested that microbial life can live in those extreme conditions – which means life might be living in the water found on Mars.
The temperature on Mars is even colder than it is in the Antarctic or Greenland, however, making the discovery of liquid water – rather than frozen – even more surprising.
Alan Duffy, an astronomer from Swinburne University and lead scientist of Australia’s Science Channel, said:
This is a stunning result that suggests water on Mars is not a temporary trickle like previous discoveries but a persistent body of water that provides the conditions for life for extended periods of time.
However, if you’re picturing yourself taking a refreshing dip in the red planet’s cool new lake sometime soon, you might want to think again.
Unfortunately, the liquid is most likely to be a a ‘briny sludge’. The salt that makes the brine is also most likely to be the reason the water hasn’t frozen.
Scientists have also said that there is nothing particularly special about the area in which the lake is found, which means similar lakes and bodies and water could be found in parts of the planet.
So who’s going to be the first human to reach the red planet? No, not Matt Damon, but potentially a 17-year-old girl from Baton Rouge, Louisianna.
Alyssa Carson plans to set off for Mars in 2033, when she will be 32, and is already dedicating her life to the mission.
Although she’s unable to apply to be an astronaut until she turns 18, she’s been going to space camps since she was seven years old.
Alyssa already undergoes training all across the globe, learning fascinating subjects such as microgravity and underwater training, which will help her with her future mission.
Perhaps Alyssa will be the first to take a dip in Mars’ great lakes! Find out more about her over here.
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