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On Mars found a huge lake with “liquid” water

Scientists with the help of the European Space Agency Mars Express installed on board the radar were able to detect a huge lake on the Red Planet with “liquid” water, hidden by ice.

What did the scientists discover on Mars?

Disputes about the presence of water on the Martian surface have been going on for a very long time. Some scientists defend the theory that there is no water on the planet, and supposedly ice – a simple mirage or optical illusion. Others are sure that there are whole lakes and oceans under the surface of the Red Planet. Note that for the first time seriously scientists talked about the presence of liquid water on Mars in autumn 2015. Then the specialists noticed dark stripes up to five meters wide, which from time to time appeared on steep Martian slopes. Nevertheless, all these years there were arguments about the physical nature of the spots. It seems that there is a point in the argument.

In the new study, scientists used the MARSIS radar aboard the European Mars Express orbital probe for observations from May 2012 to December 2015. As a result, the experts received 29 sets of radar “samples”. Now they announced that they first discovered evidence of the presence of water on Mars in a liquid state. The lake is located at the south pole of the planet and is hidden by a thick ice cap. According to rough estimates, its diameter is 20 km, and the depth is only a couple of dozen centimeters. Despite the low temperature, the water there did not freeze, because in this area there is high pressure or it could mix with the soil of the planet.

A photo of this site shocked scientists. The image is remarkably similar to the lakes found under the glaciers in the Antarctic and Greenland. This proves the presence on the Red Planet of a lake with “liquid” water.

Italian scientist from the University of Bologna Roberto Orosei noted that even though the temperature in the pond is likely to be below the freezing point of water, the magnesium, calcium and sodium salts dissolved in water together with the pressure of the layer lying above the ice layer allow the lake to remain liquid.

And what’s next?

Some scientists have already suggested that this is not the last such find, so in the coming months we should expect more discoveries of several such lakes.

In the meantime, scientists have to confirm their findings. For this purpose, it is planned to launch an InSight mission, within which a special apparatus will be sent to Mars, which will drill the soil and measure the temperature. This will help to understand if water could have remained in liquid form at such a depth. In other words, take samples from this lake with “liquid” water and analyze its composition.

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