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Three new underground lakes detected on Mars

Source : 112 Ukraine

The discovery was made using data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency's (Esa) Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since December 2003
14:25, 30 September 2020

The findings come from data collected by Esa's Mars Express spacecraft
www.bbc.com

European scientists discovered three underground lakes near the south pole of Mars. They also confirmed the existence of a fourth lake - the presence of which was hinted at in 2018. It is reported by the BBC.

"The main lake is surrounded by smaller bodies of liquid water, but because of the technical characteristics of the radar, and of its distance from the Martian surface, we cannot conclusively determine whether they are interconnected," co-author Elena Pettinelli from Roma Tre University in Italy said.

The discovery was made using data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency's (Esa) Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since December 2003.

In 2018, researchers used data from the Marsis radar to report signs of a 20km-wide subsurface lake located 1.5 km under Mars' south polar layered deposits, a thick polar cap formed by layers of ice and dust.

However, that finding was based on 29 observations collected by Marsis between 2012 and 2015. Now, a team including many of the same scientists from the 2018 study have analysed a much bigger dataset of 134 radar profiles gathered between 2010 and 2019.

"Not only did we confirm the position, extent and strength of the reflector from our 2018 study, but we found three new bright areas," Elena Pettinelli added.

"The main lake is surrounded by smaller bodies of liquid water, but because of the technical characteristics of the radar, and of its distance from the Martian surface, we cannot conclusively determine whether they are interconnected."

Liquid water is vital, so the discovery will be interesting for researchers, studying the potential life in other parts of the solar system.

As it was reported earlier, three countries (the USA, China and the UAE) are going to send their missions to the Red Planet this year. 

Related: Mars alert: Why three spacecraft must leave for the red planet within weeks or miss their chance

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Система Orphus

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