Scientists find evidence of multiple underground lakes on Mars

Scientists believe they’ve found more evidence confirming the presence of a large reservoir of liquid water under the surface of Mars first discovered back in 2018. In fact, they believe they’ve found three more subsurface saltwater lakes surrounding that main one — a huge discovery, seeing as those lakes are potential habitats for life. As Nature notes in its post about the scientists’ paper, the first finding was met with lot of skepticism because it was only based on 29 observations from 2012 to 2015. This study and its findings were based on 134 observations made between 2012 and 2019.



Mars


Mars

The team used data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft to investigate the planet’s southern polar region. Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding or MARSIS, as the instrument is called, is capable of sending out radio waves that bounce off

Read More
Read More

Ancient underground lakes discovered on Mars

This beautiful ESA image of the Martian surface is titled Cappuccino swirls at Mars’ south pole.


ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Bill Dunford

Be sure to pack some arm floaties and a really big drill for when you fly to Mars. There may be a whole world of water-filled ponds hiding beneath the dry and dusty planet’s southern ice cap.

A new study led by researchers at Roma Tre University in Italy strengthens the case for a 2018 discovery of a hidden lake under the Martian polar ice, and then extends the find to include three new ponds. 

The researchers used radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to make its original detection of liquid water. 

“Now, taking into account more data and analyzing it in a different way, three new ponds have been discovered,”

Read More
Read More

Could Life Exist On Mars? Scientists Discover Multiple Underground Salty Ponds

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers say they have discovered a group of lakes hidden under Mars’ icy surface
  • This follows the detection of another subsurface lake in the same region in 2018
  • The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or can house microorganisms

A team of Italian scientists discovered a group of three salty ponds beneath Mars’ south pole. The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or at least can house microorganisms. 

The discovery of these ponds raised the possibility that microbial organisms could survive on Mars but the only hindrance was the high amount of salt concentration, which could be keeping the waters frozen, scientists said in a report published on Sept. 28 in Nature Astronomy.   

The discovery of the salty ponds was significant because their locations were close to another lake discovered in 2018. The largest of them

Read More
Read More

Are there super salty lakes on Mars? Research suggests buried reservoir near south pole

The existence of liquid water on Mars — one of the more hotly debated matters about our cold, red neighbor — is looking increasingly likely.

New research published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy indicates that there really is a buried reservoir of super salty water near the south pole. Scientists say such a lake would significantly improve the likelihood that Mars just might harbor microscopic life of its own.

Some scientists remain unconvinced that what’s been seen is liquid water, but the latest study adds weight to a tentative 2018 finding from radar maps of the planet’s crust made by the Mars Express robot orbiter.

That research suggested that an underground “lake” of liquid water had pooled beneath frozen layers of sediment near the south pole — akin to the subglacial lakes detected beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets on Earth.

Image: Mars south polar ice cap (Bj?rn Schreiner - FU Berlin / ESA)
Image: Mars south polar ice cap (Bj?rn
Read More
Read More

Salty lake, ponds may be gurgling beneath South Pole on Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A network of salty ponds may be gurgling beneath Mars’ South Pole alongside a large underground lake, raising the prospect of tiny, swimming Martian life.

Italian scientists reported their findings Monday, two years after identifying what they believed to be a large buried lake. They widened their coverage area by a couple hundred miles, using even more data from a radar sounder on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.

In the latest study appearing in the journal Nature Astronomy, the scientists provide further evidence of this salty underground lake, estimated to be 12 miles to 18 miles (20 kilometers to 30 kilometers) across and buried 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) beneath the icy surface.

Even more tantalizing, they’ve also identified three smaller bodies of water surrounding the lake. These ponds appear to be of various sizes and are separate from the main lake.

Roughly 4

Read More
Read More

Salty lakes below Mars’ glaciers could harbor life

Scientists have detected a series of saltwater lakes beneath the glaciers of Mars’ southern ice cap. The researchers think the liquid in these lakes doesn’t freeze and become solid, despite the low temperatures of Mars’ glaciers, due to its extremely high concentrations of salt.

The Mars Express spacecraft, which has been surveying the red planet since 2005, had previously detected signs of a subglacial lake basin on Mars’ south pole, but it was unclear whether the lake was liquid or what it contained.

mars ice cap south pole southern

The southern ice cap of Mars, April 17, 2000.


NASA/JPL



To find out, a group of Italian, German, and Australian researchers applied a radio-echo technique that Earth satellites use to detect subsurface lakes in Antarctica. They scanned the area multiple times from 2010 to 2019, then published their results in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday.

The analysis confirmed the liquid-water nature of Mars’ underground lake, as

Read More
Read More

NASA’s Moon to Mars Economic Impact Study Shows Significant Benefit for Virginia

NASA’s Moon to Mars Economic Impact Study Shows Significant Benefit for Virginia

PR Newswire

HAMPTON, Va., Sept. 28, 2020

HAMPTON, Va., Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA recently released an assessment of the economic impacts of NASA and the Moon to Mars (M2M) program for the nation as a whole, and each of the fifty states. The study shows Virginia is one of the most impacted states. NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, directly contributes to this impact through jobs and partnerships with Virginia industry.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)
NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

NASA’s overall economic benefit for Virginia is $5.5 billion, with nearly $300 million coming directly from the M2M program. This includes more than 27,000 jobs total and 1221 jobs related to M2M. Nationwide, NASA is responsible for 312,623 jobs and $64.3 billion added to the national economy.

NASA’s Artemis program will return humans to the Moon

Read More
Read More

There might be even more underground reservoirs of liquid water on Mars

Four underground reservoirs of water may be sitting below the south pole of Mars. The new findings, published today in Nature Astronomy, suggest Mars is home to even more deposits of liquid water than once thought.

The background: In 2018, a group of Italian researchers used radar observations made by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to detect a lake of liquid water sitting 1.5 kilometers below the surface of Mars. The lake, which was about 20 kilometers long, was found near the south pole, at the base of an area of thick glacial ice called the South Polar Layered Deposits. Those radar observations were made by an instrument called Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS).

The new study: Two years later, after a new analysis of the complete MARSIS data set (composing over 134 radar collection campaigns), members of that same team have confirmed the

Read More
Read More

Are You Ready To See Mars In Ultra HD 8K? Japan’s Plans To Take ‘Super Hi-Vision’ Cameras To Space

Japan is going to Mars—and it’s taking an incredibly detailed video camera with it. 

A joint venture between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Japan’s state broadcaster NHK—which pioneered HD and Ultra HD TV technology and broadcasting—will jointly develop a “Super Hi-Vision Camera” capable of filming both 4K and 8K images for JAXA to take to Mars.

JAXA has history here; its Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter in 2008 produced the first high-definition HD video ever seen of the Moon.

It’s also helped produce 4K filming from the International Space Station (ISS). 

Its new camera will go to Mars in 2024 as part of JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration mission. It will be the first time that 8K Ultra HD images of Mars and its moons are taken in proximity. 

What

Read More
Read More

Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds

A figurine of an astronaut stands next to a block.
Enlarge / Scientists mixed chitin—an organic polymer found in abundance in arthropods, as well as fish scales—with a mineral that mimics the properties of Martian soil to create a viable new material for building tools and shelters on Mars.

Space aficionados who dream of one day colonizing Mars must grapple with the stark reality of the planet’s limited natural resources, particularly when it comes to building materials. A team of scientists from the Singapore University of Technology and Design discovered that, using simple chemistry, the organic polymer chitin—contained in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans—can easily be transformed into a viable building material for basic tools and habitats. This would require minimal energy and no need for transporting specialized equipment. The scientists described their experiments in a recent paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“The technology was originally developed to create circular ecosystems in urban environments,” said co-author Javier

Read More
Read More