- Via Marsis radar in Mars express, ESA researchers were able to find hints of water, ice, and dust on Mars' subsurface
- Scientists, however, still state 'nothing definitive' yet as further astrobiological findings must be carried out
- Experts weigh in and surmise that more advanced and cutting-edge technologies should be constructed in order to physically get samples of the Martian soil and water
Researchers from European Space Agency (ESA) found a glaring piece of evidence that may point out further to a possibility of H20's presence on the planet.
KAMI learned that after pioneering research and findings of Curiosity rover on Mars that took photos of icy mountainous caps on the planet, ESA was able to locate another fascinating scene using their Marsis radar via Mars Express orbiter.
According to the researchers behind the observation and exploration, martian climate has since cooled down as a result of a thinned atmosphere. This hence led to freezing waters at uninhabitable levels.
The results quite thrilled scientists because of the long and arduous search for preexisting bodies of water on the red planet. Prof. Roberto Orosei, the European research lead, maintained that it may only be a small lake. "It's probably not a very large lake," while estimating it to be only just a few meters.
Orosei also argued, "[t]his really qualifies this as a body of water. A lake, not some kind of meltwater filling some space between rock and ice, as happens in certain glaciers on Earth." Below is an image where the icy pastry-like spreading on the martian floor is what scientists propose:
Using powerful radar capabilities of Marsis, signals sent out by the instrument bounce back carrying information about both the surface and subsurface of Mars.
Prof. Orosei is confident about the findings. "In light blue you can see where the reflections from the bottom are stronger than surface reflection. This is something that is to us the tell tale sign of the presence of water."
Does this have a lot to do with finding more life already?
Experts do not close doors, yet. Dr. Manish Patel of the Open University furthered, "We have long since known that the surface of Mars is inhospitable to life as we know it, so the search for life on Mars is now in the subsurface."
"This is where we get sufficient protection from harmful radiation, and the pressure and temperature rise to more favorable levels. Most importantly, this allows liquid water, essential for life."
Not closer to extraterrestrial life yet?
In an interview with BBC News, Dr. Patel confirmed it. He said, "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."
Dr. Claire Cousins, an astrobiologist at the University of St. Andrews in UK, also explicated that it would be formidable for life to commence in such harsh environments. "It's plausible that the water may be an extremely cold, concentrated brine, which would be pretty challenging for life."
Further research and advanced tech needed?
A Yes: "Maybe this could even be the trigger for an ambitious new Mars mission to drill into this buried water-pocket - like has been done for sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica on Earth," as told by Dr Matt Balme from the Open University.
Finally, Prof. Orosei is hopeful that succeeding research will indeed reveal the finality of all the evidence found as it would require "Getting there, and acquiring the final evidence that this is indeed a lake will not be an easy task."
"It will require flying a robot there which is capable of drilling through 1.5km of ice. This will certainly require some technological developments that at the moment are not available," he added.
Today’s HumanMeter social experiment is to see how men react to a woman approaching them.Usually we are used to the traditional way of a man starting a conversation with a woman he is attracted to and hopefully getting her digits at the end. Is it always this way? – on KAMI HumanMeter YouTube channel!