Home South pole ice Lakes below the surface of Mars may not be real, this is what they could be

Lakes below the surface of Mars may not be real, this is what they could be

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Data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter recently discovered underground lakes at the South Pole of the Red Planet. However, now it looks like they may not be lakes at all. In 2018, scientists working with data from the Mars Express orbiter announced a startling discovery that signals from a radar instrument reflected from the South Pole of the Red Planet appeared to reveal a liquid underground lake.

Analysis by NASA and Arizona State University Research Team

The NASA research team and Arizona State University (ASU) found dozens of similar radar reflections around the South Pole, following analysis of a large Mars dataset Express. They say many of them are in areas that are too cold for the water to stay liquid.

Aditya Kuller of the AGU School of Earth and Space Exploration said radar waves lose energy as they pass through material, so the depth of deep wells must be brighter than that from the surface.

He added that “although there are a variety of potential reasons for an extremely bright background with reflections, these two studies have shown that liquid water is the cause of the light reflex because the liquid looks bright on the radar.” .

Why is radar interpreted as liquid water

The radar initially interpreted as liquid water was discovered in an area of ​​Mars known as the South Pole stratified deposits. At first it was assumed that areas of water, ranging from 10 to 20 miles in a relatively small area of ​​the sediment layers of the south pole of Mars.

In a new study, the team has increased the search for similar radio frequency signals to 44,000 proportions spread over 15 years of MARSIS data in the south polar region of Mars.

It discloses a host of more spectacular radar displays at greater distances and depths than ever before. In some places it was less than a mile from the surface, where temperatures were estimated to be below 63 ° C – so cold that the water would freeze, even though it contained salty minerals called perchlorates, which could reduce ice water.

Mars Express is the oldest spacecraft operating around Mars after only NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey which is still operational.