We Now Have Radar Evidence Of Subglacial Liquid Water On Mars

Submitted by: trimble 2 months ago in News & Politics Science


An excerpt from the BBC: What they believe to be a lake sits under the planet's south polar ice cap, and is about 20km (12 miles) across.

Previous research found possible signs of intermittent liquid water flowing on the martian surface, but this is the first sign of a persistent body of water on the planet in the present day.

Lake beds like those explored by Nasa's Curiosity rover show water was present on the surface of Mars in the past.

However, the planet's climate has since cooled due to its thin atmosphere, leaving most of its water locked up in ice.

The result is exciting because scientists have long searched for signs of present-day liquid water on Mars, but these have come up empty or yielded ambiguous findings. It will also interest those studying the possibilities for life beyond Earth - though it does not yet raise the stakes in the search for biology.

The discovery was made using Marsis, a radar instrument on board the European Space Agency's (Esa) Mars Express orbiter.
There are 11 comments:
Male 8,969
Good post, Trimble. Per Marsii, more science posts, please!
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Male 1,835
I like the science posts. Keep em up.
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Male 44,854
Hands off Earth!     Martians need that water to grow things.

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Male 9,446


USA USA USA!
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Male 5,176
normalfreak2 It's water, not oil.
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Male 9,446
trimble Water will be the new oil soon.
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Male 6,941
I dont quite understand how it could be LIQUID water..

Isn't the core of mars dead now?  How could any part of Mars be warm enough for liquid water to exist?

Ice?  Sure, I understand that part, but how can flowing water exist on that iceball?
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Male 274
daegog Despite not having enough output to keep the core active, there can still enough energy from the radioactive decay of long-lived isotopes to provide a heat flow to melt water.
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Male 1,616
daegog "...how can flowing water exist on that iceball?"
I was surprised to see downvotes on this. It's the first question any rational person would ask. Information is still being evaluated, and this is controversial in the scientific community right now. If it is water, and if it is liquid, the current explanation is that it contains too much dissolved salt to freeze. (At least, it was current when I wrote this.)
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Male 6,074
they say its similar to lakes of water here on earth under greenland and the antartic.. pretty cool stuff
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Male 8,969
Space gophers. In scuba gear. Swimming around in a massive subterranean lake. Just waiting to invade Earth.
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