Thursday, May 19, 2022
    HomeTechThe trail of hidden lakes on Mars finally goes dry in new...

    The trail of hidden lakes on Mars finally goes dry in new study




    NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of ice sheets at Mars’ south pole. 

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/College of Arizona/JHU

    Notice to the adventurous: Your odds of ever attending to scuba dive in a hidden lake beneath the southern ice cap on Mars could have simply turned to Martian mud. 

    In 2018, scientists using radar data from the Mars Express orbiter noticed what seemed to be a salt water lake a few mile (1.5 kilometers) beneath the ice. However new analysis suggests what they noticed was the identical type of dusty, volcanic rock that covers many a Martian plain. 

    A staff led by Cyril Grima, a planetary scientist on the College of Texas Institute for Geophysics, put a digital international ice sheet over a radar picture of Mars. Volcanic plains in any respect completely different latitudes confirmed up wanting the identical method because the supposed lake underneath the south polar area. 

    The staff surmised it is extra seemingly that radar is exhibiting volcanic rock beneath the ice than water that someway stays liquid regardless of chilly and dry circumstances.

    “For water to be sustained this near the floor, you want each a really salty setting and a powerful, regionally generated heat source, however that does not match what we all know of this area,” Grima, who’s lead writer on a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, stated in a statement

    The potential for a Martian sub-polar water lake was already seeming much less seemingly by 2021, when a number of research, together with one led by NASA, solid doubt on the concept, suggesting as a substitute that the radar could also be selecting up a kind of frozen clay. 

    “Science is not foolproof on the primary strive,” stated Isaac Smith, a Mars geophysicist at York College. “That is very true in planetary science the place we’re taking a look at locations nobody’s ever visited and counting on devices that sense every thing remotely.”

    So ice fishing for Martian polar trout could also be off the agenda for the approaching many years, however there’s nonetheless a lot extra to discover on the purple planet.

    “I believe the fantastic thing about Grima’s discovering is that whereas it knocks down the concept there could be liquid water underneath the planet’s south pole in the present day, it additionally offers us actually exact locations to go search for proof of historical lakes and riverbeds,” Smith added. 

    And a type of locations simply may maintain a game-changing fossil that might alter humanity’s perspective on life within the universe. Keep tuned. 


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