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Lake of liquid water discovered on Mars

Posted on Wednesday, 25 July, 2018 | Comment icon 10 comments

The discovery was made using the Mars Express orbiter. Image Credit: ESA
Scientists believe that they have identified a body of water situated beneath the planet's south polar ice cap.
While Mars is known to have been covered in lakes, rivers and oceans in its distant past, this is the first time that evidence has been found of a persistent body of liquid water in the present day.

"It's probably not a very large lake," said study leader Professor Roberto Orosei from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics.

Discovered using a special radar instrument on ESA's Mars Express orbiter, the lake is thought to be around 12 miles across and at least one meter deep.
"This really qualifies this as a body of water," said Prof Orosei. "A lake, not some kind of meltwater filling some space between rock and ice, as happens in certain glaciers on Earth."

It remains unclear what sort of conditions might be found in the lake, however in order to remain liquid in such cold temperatures, it is likely to contain a very large amount of salt.

"We are not closer to actually detecting life," said Dr Manish Patel from the Open University.

"But what this finding does is give us the location of where to look on Mars. It is like a treasure map - except in this case, there will be lots of 'X's marking the spots."

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)

Tags: Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nnicolette on 25 July, 2018, 22:05
So just how cold is the water?  
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye on 25 July, 2018, 22:49
I guess there's no need to bring along bikinis ... ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 on 26 July, 2018, 2:11
Aren't the Mars polar caps frozen carbon dioxide (AKA dry ice)? I don't see how liquid water could exist under that without being geothermally heated...Regardless of salt content. Maybe I'm missing something; I am not a chemist, lol.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ShadowSot on 26 July, 2018, 3:23
High salt content and pressure from above. Water expands as it freezes, if it can't expand it'll stay liquid. More or less. There's videos of this online. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ozfactor on 27 July, 2018, 2:51
This is an interesting read if you have the time, and the hypothesis of Mars being covered in oceans might be proven true  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_ocean_hypothesis   An artist's impression of ancient Mars and its oceans based on geological data   The blue region of low topography in the Martian northern hemisphere is hypothesized to be the site of a primordial ocean of liquid water.[1] The Mars ocean hypothesis states that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was covered by an ocean of liquid water early in the planet’s geologic history.[2][3][4] This primordial ocean, dubbed Paleo... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Astra. on 27 July, 2018, 3:04
You wear bikinis ? ..  
Comment icon #7 Posted by third_eye on 27 July, 2018, 22:16
Oh ... on such occasions when the weather is just right ... I like the purple ones ... ~
Comment icon #8 Posted by qxcontinuum on 29 July, 2018, 4:47
Apparently Mars soil still has a certain quantity of water . It is believed that most of the water on Mars didn't disappear with its atmosphere but was soaked underground. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by woopypooky on 1 August, 2018, 13:42
Is it H2O?
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 1 August, 2018, 14:22
If it isn't H2O it isn't water.

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