Researchers have been looking for water on Mars for years to no avail. This is an ideal time to send missions toward Mars - be they robots or future crews of astronauts. "At most perihelic oppositions, including this one, the planet retreats to the belly of the ecliptic low in the southern sky". More information shows that water ice might even exist in middle-latitude subsurface.
Microbial life survives some of the harshest conditions on Earth, including within subglacial environments.
But dissolved salts of magnesium, calcium, and sodium - known to be present in Martian rocks - are thought to maintain the briny miniature sea by reducing the melting point of water to minus 74C.
The temperature is likely below the freezing point of pure water, but the lake can remain liquid due to the presence of magnesium, calcium and sodium.
Pascal Descamps, an Astronomer with the Paris Observatory, said: "We have a rare and interesting conjunction of phenomena".
And where there's water, there might be life..
"Despite its glorious girth, northern observers will pay a price during this juicy Mars apparition", Sky & Telescope contributing editor Bob King said.
Orosei said, "It's tempting to think that this is the first candidate place where life could persist" on Mars. MARSIS measures the echoes of the radio waves, which researchers would then be able to use to decode the structure of the subsurface.
While scientists first found this geological formation back in the 1960s, the discovery that the Medusae Fossae Formation is volcanic was only made recently.
The lead writer of the study, Roberto Orosei si and astrophysicist at National Institute of Astrophysics in Bologna and he cannot control his excitement. In August that year, Mars came closer to Earth than it had in nearly 60,000 years.
"We found that any other explanation for these very strong echoes was not really tenable in light of the evidence that we had available", he said.
He suspects Mars may contain other hidden bodies of water, waiting to be discovered. "In fact, SHARAD cannot penetrate through the ice here and no one understands why it can't", Stillman said.
NASA reported, a new paper published in Science this week suggests that liquid water may be sitting under a layer of ice at Mars' South Pole. Unlike Earth, Mars' more elliptical orbit has a greater influence on its seasonal changes. Besides that, there are also large amounts of water as ice under the ground.
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