HomeNewsA Salty Underworld Below Martian Surface

A Salty Underworld Below Martian Surface

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July 5, 2021:  In July 2018, data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express successfully found traces of a possible water lake below the icy surface that exists on the south pole of Mars.

Among 100 radar images that were captured by the Mars Express spacecraft from 2010 till 2019, scientists found evidence of several liquid bodies below glaciers. These liquid bodies varied in size. The largest of which is 19 km m across and the smallest is nearly 5 km.

Taking into account the fact that the average temperature on Mars is approximately -80 degrees Celsius, it is too cold to sustain any liquid water at the surface.

However, researchers believe that these lakes maintain their liquid state thanks to their high concentrations of salt. Basically, salt works to lower the freezing point of water so the water can become colder than zero degrees Celsius before it turns to solid ice. Moreover, water that contains salt can reach temperatures of nearly minus –21 degrees Celsius.

Many scientists believe Mars was once a hospitable planet like Earth and might have hosted life forms millions of years ago. However, the atmosphere of the planet was ripped away because the planet lacked a strong magnetic field like Earth’s, allowing solar wind to deprive it of a thick atmosphere.

However, we shouldn’t lose hope because discoveries like these suggest that some parts of the red planet can be welcoming to life, and could contain some form of microbial life that survived the calamities.

However, two years later, they found fresh evidence supporting the existence of liquid water on Mars. Scientists examined radar images of Mars that were collected over a period of over 10 years and found evidence of not only one but several pools of water below the Martian surface.

Haris Ahmad writes for The Diplomatic Insight 

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