A cluster of underground lakes revealed on Mars

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A cluster of underground lakes revealed on Mars

A cluster of underground lakes revealed on Mars

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California have found signs of underground lakes on Mars. But these bodies of water are located in areas too cold for liquid water, Science Alert reports.

In 2018, scientists working with data from the ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Express orbiter announced a surprising discovery: signals from a radar device reflected off the South Pole of the Red Planet revealed a liquid underground lake.

The authors of the new study found several dozen more hidden bodies of water. The study was centered around the South Pole. The signals came from an area known as Layered Sediments. It is an alternation of water ice, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) and dust that has been deposited there over millions of years.

Scientists have surveyed this area using radio waves. These waves lose energy as they pass through dense matter. When they are reflected back to the spacecraft, they usually have a weaker signal. But in some cases, the signals returning from the bowels of this region were stronger than those on the surface. Experts interpreted this as a sign of fluid.

Areas believed to contain liquid water cover 10 to 20 kilometers in the relatively small region of Mars' south pole. But some of them lie at a depth of more than 1.5 km, where the temperature reaches -63 degrees Celsius. Under these conditions, the water will freeze even if it contains salty minerals (perchlorates).

In theory, water can remain liquid due to volcanic processes in the interior. But scientists did not notice any signs of volcanism at the South Pole. Scientists expect to uncover the secret of the underground lakes by compiling a detailed map of this region.

Previously, scientists made a discovery regarding the climate of ancient Mars. According to them, it was covered with icy clouds.

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