A lake of liquid water has been detected by radar beneath the southern polar ice cap of Mars, according to a new study by Italian researchers from the Italian Space Agency, published Wednesday in the journal Science. Evidence of past bodies of water and periodic flowing water have been discovered, but this is the first time a present body of water has been found on Mars.
The discovery raises the possibility of finding life on the Red Planet.
After seeing what possibly could be dark streaks of salty water that flowed down the Martian dune during warm seasons, the planetary scientists were certainly delighted. He said the announcement might mean scientists pay more attention to what lies below the surface of the cold planet.
Orosei said the water in the Martian lake was below the normal freezing point but remained liquid thanks in large part to high levels of salts.
"It could be really significant and alter the way we are trying to find life on Mars", said Vincent Chevrier, a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville assistant research professor at the school's Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.
Between 2012 and December 2015 the Planum Australe region was mapped by the Mars Advance Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (Marsis) instrument carried on the orbiter.
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Juncker, hailed the agreement and said on Twitter that she "will be working hard to take this work forward the coming months". For his part, Juncker noted that the European Union and United States chose to strengthen their cooperation on energy.
The discovery was made using a radar instrument on board the Mars Express orbiter, which works by bouncing low-frequency electromagnetic waves off the surface of the planet then analysing the data that returns.
"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", said Alan Duffy, an associate professor at Swinburne University in Australia, who was not involved in the study. "There are microorganisms on Earth that are capable of surviving even in ice".
Orosei said, "It's tempting to think that this is the first candidate place where life could persist" on Mars.
Previously, there has been some suggestions about water on Mars, like droplets of water condensing on the Phoenix lander or as the possible cause of recurring slope lineae, which are seasonal dark streaks on Martian slopes. "This would confirm that IF it is true", Kral said.
"In Antarctica the water can exist because the temperatures below the kilometer-thick ice can reach melting point.""What helped the liquid water to be stable?" But there hasn't been evidence of stable bodies of water until now, the researchers said. "Most importantly, this allows liquid water, essential for life", said Patel.