Before new evidences on the existence of old bodies of water in Mars. Once again, interest has been aroused in an issue that has been on the minds of men of science since 1969.
Will there be water in the red giant?
The low temperatures of Mars currently hinder the presence of water on its surface. The planet, which is at a much greater distance than the Earth from the Sun, has a geography largely made up of sand and ice.
However, evidence collected last July by researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA)sponsored Mars Express mission suggests that there may be large bodies of water scattered under Martian soil.
Even in the scientific work done in space, human intuition plays a central role. This idea was demonstrated when the group of Italian researchers carrying out the mission decided to modify the software of the MARSIS radar. The main data collection tool for these scientists.
They find an icy lake beneath the surface of Mars.
The change immediately led to a wider sampling rate. With sufficient data it was possible to determine the coordinates of a lake. Which is in the subterranean layers of Mars, exactly 1.5 kilometers deep. Penetrating through the ice of the cold South Pole of the red planet.
Calculations suggest that this body of water reaches a diameter of at least 20 kilometres.
For Andrea Cicchetti, director of operations at MARSIS, the data gathered in this latest discovery lays the foundation for a better targeted search for new water wells.
The expert stressed that MARSIS has been collecting unique topographic data for more than 3 continuous years, which will serve to initiate promising searches in the near future.
Can there be life on Mars?
For now what is known with certainty of this water imprisoned underground is that it is rich in salts. The salt drastically decreases the freezing point of the water. So it is thanks to the presence of these salts that groundwater can maintain in a liquid state.
The possibility of finding a larger number of bodies of water beneath the planet’s surface has led some science enthusiasts to wonder if we won’t soon discover life on Mars.
The reality is that it is quite possible to get life on the red planet, although this is only in the form of small bacteria, able to withstand the freezing temperatures of the groundwater of Mars.
Robotic exploration vehicles
The existence of robotic exploration vehicles is another element that has brought great advances in this field of space research. It is known that in the past Spirit, and still in the present
Opportunity and Curiosity, help to obtain valuable information about the geography of Mars day after day.
With the arrival of the InSight probe on Mars, the number of tools scientists have available to record geographic data is expanding.
Only time will give us a sufficiently broad knowledge of the neighboring planet. For now, the most sensible thing is to continue validating the hypotheses that we have been able to construct so far with more data.