A recent study suggests that there might be liquid water on Mars. This new information suggests that there might be possibility of liquid water underneath the planet’s surface.
The south polar ice cap of Mars exists liquid water underneath it, according to researchers. The findings, which demonstrated that information other than radar may determine when and where this water existed, were published in Nature Astronomy.
According to Neil Arnold, professor at Cambridge Scott Polar Research Institute and study leader, it is now far more plausible that at least one area of subglacial liquid water exists on Mars today given the new topography evidence, computer model results, and radar data.
Similar ice caps at the poles
Both Earth and Mars feature thick water ice caps at their respective poles; however, unlike Earth, it is believed that Mars’ polar ice caps have recently frozen to their beds due to the planet’s chilly environment. This idea was refuted in 2018 by data from the Mars Express satellite of the European Space Agency, which has an ice-penetrating radar called MARSIS that can see through Mars ice cap.
According to earlier research, if additional types of dry material exist beneath Mars’ ice cap, they might have comparable reflecting characteristics. Since the planet is cold, liquid water requires a source of heat, such as geothermal heat from the planet itself.
Researchers from the University of Sheffield, the University of Nantes, University College, Dublin, the Open University, and the University of Cambridge made up the team, which employed a variety of methods to examine data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor satellite. The topography of Mars’ south ice cap was investigated using this.
The scientists investigated if liquid water might explain for the ice’s smooth rising and falling on the surface. To make the ice flow comparable to circumstances on Mars, they did computer model simulations of it.
The scientists placed a patch of reduced bed friction in the replicated ice sheet bed where water, if present, would allow the ice to flow.
They identified similarities between the model-generated topography movement and the spacecraft observations, implying a liquid accumlation beneath Mars’ south ice cap.
This suggests that recent volcanic activity had place in Mars’ subsurface in order to provide the necessary geothermal heating for the water to remain in liquid state.
According to Arnold, “the quality of the data coming back from Mars, from orbital satellites as well as from the landers, is such that we can use it to [use] it [to] answer really challenging questions regarding conditions on, and even under, the planet’s surface.” using same method we also use on earth. Utilizing these methods to learn more about worlds other than our own is interesting.
This offers fresh evidence that Mars may contain liquid water underneath the surface. Arnold said that in order to keep the water underneath the ice cap liquid, Mars must still be geothermally active.