Life on other planets except Earth has always been a fascinating topic to discuss about as nothing has not been confirmed yet. But we still keep looking for it. So in today’s article we will discuss a recent and mind blowing discovery on Mars that will add fuel to this topic so let’s just get started.
The team of scientists studying data from a satellite orbiting Mars say they have discovered evidence of several lakes of what they believe is salty, liquid water beneath the surface of the planet’s south pole.
The discovery, detailed in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, expands upon a tentative finding in 2018, which was made using data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express satellite.
Two years ago, planetary scientists reported the discovery of a large saltwater lake under the ice at Mars’s south pole, a finding that was met with excitement and some scepticism.
A radar instrument known as the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) produced evidence of what astronomers believed was a large saltwater lake under the ice at Mars’s south pole, a finding that was met with excitement and some skepticism at the time.
Since then, the same group of scientists examined 10 years’ worth of radar images sent from the spacecraft and found not only more evidence confirming the original salt lake, but enough for at least three more lying underneath the Martian surface.
Confirming the existence of liquid water on Mars can be a strong indication of possibility of life on that planet.
The findings say that the lakes are spread over about 75,000 square kilometers, which is roughly one-fifth the size of Germany.
The study says, “The largest, central lake, measures 30 kilometers across, and is surrounded by three smaller lakes, each a few kilometers wide.” The report noted that the researchers used data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) orbiting Mars Express spacecraft to discover the lakes.
“It follows the detection of a single subsurface lake in the same region in 2018 – which, if confirmed, would be the first body of liquid water ever detected on the red planet and a possible habitat for life. But that finding was based on just 29 observations made from 2012 to 2015,” it said. The latest study apparently used a data set comprising 134 observations from between 2012 and 2019.
Some scientists believe Mars was once a wet, warm world and may even have hosted life forms at some point in its early history. But over time, the planet’s atmosphere was stripped away because it lacks a magnetic field like Earth’s, making it seemingly inhospitable.
This latest discovery suggests that some pockets of the Martian terrain may be habitable and could contain some form of microbial life that escaped from the planet’s freezing surface to the waters beneath.
Now all these new findings sparks a lot of questions and curiosity.
So what do you guys think about that?
Are we anywhere close to discover life on Mars?
Tell us in the comment section below.