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Scientists spot possible lake under Martian polar ice cap

Posted on Friday, July 27 2018 @ 11:43:06 CEST by

Mars logo
For the first time, scientists discovered evidence of a stable body of liquid water on Mars. What appears to be a subglacial lake was discovered 1.5km below the planet's southern polar ice cap. The lake spans 20km horizontally and was discovered via analysis of data form the ESA Mars Express orbiter.

It's not hard evidence yet, but the scientists believe a lake fits the data best. Further investigation will be required to verify its existence.
There are other possible explanations for this sort of signal, but the authors consider and reject them. To give one example, they consider a layer of carbon dioxide that was liquified by the pressure. While this layer could form under the conditions present at the base of the ice cap, its properties are such that you wouldn't get such a strong reflection. Other conditions they consider would produce similar reflections but are unlikely to be found under a 1.5km thick sheet of ice.
Via: ARS Technica



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