Scientists Discover a 12 Mile-Wide Body of Liquid Water on Mars

Martian landscape with lakes, water.

Scientists determined almost definitively that a lake of liquid water exists below the surface of Mars, confirming the long-standing belief that the red planet was once home to massive oceans, and even the possibility that life thrived there. The Mars Express satellite and its MARSIS system discovered the 12.4 mile-wide lake below the planet’s surface by shooting pulses of radar near the planet’s ice caps.

Similar to pockets of subglacial water in Antarctica, the polar ice caps provide pressure and a layer of insulation from the planet’s harsh climate, lowering the melting point and keeping it from freezing. In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers noted that the lake likely consists of more of a briney sludge than a pool of liquid water, the way we’d imagine it on Earth. The temperature where it’s located is a frigid negative 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The pool is about a mile below ground and according to one scientist involved in the study, contains “a serious quantity of water, on the order of millions of liters.”

MARSIS, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding system is only able to detect large bodies of water, meaning a multitude of smaller pockets could exist elsewhere throughout the planet, adding to the possibility that life there was once common.

Radar imaging of the body of water near Martian ice caps

 

The discovery is huge for the prospect of sending a manned mission and eventually colonizing the red planet. The availability of liquid water not only provides a source for humans to drink, it is also a necessary ingredient for manufacturing rocket fuel.

But for those who have been studying the strange anomalies on the planet, including the Face of Cydonia, pyramids, and seemingly artificial features, this discovery is just a drop in the bucket of a much larger disclosure regarding life on the red planet. These abnormalities have led many to believe an ancient civilization may have once existed there before its atmosphere was eventually destroyed by a nuclear winter. Whether that cataclysm was man made or due to a cosmic event has also been debated.

Researchers like Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara believe NASA is withholding current evidence of life on Mars, and the latest announcement has been made numerous times in the past, dating back to discoveries made by the Phoenix lander in 2008.

With recent evidence that NASA accidentally destroyed organic matter collected by the Viking probes 40 years ago, it wouldn’t be a surprise to discover that it has already found evidence of life there.

 

Watch this Conscious Media interview in which Regina Meredith discusses the possibility of life on Mars with Richard C. Hoagland:

Proof of Life on Mars


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NASA's Curiosity Rover Found A Strange Metallic Object on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover recently stumbled upon an unusually shiny object in Mars’ Gale Crater. While the discovery received some coverage, it came at a time when most attention was focused on the space agency’s successful touchdown of the InSight Lander. NASA says it believes the object may be a meteorite and that it plans to study it more closely, though Curiosity was unable to pick it up on its first attempt.

The object, which NASA named Little Colonsay after an island in Scotland, has a distinct sheen to it, even noticeable through a black and white image the agency posted on its website.

“The planning team thinks it might be a meteorite because it is so shiny,” Susanne Schwenzer, a member of the Curiosity team, wrote. “But looks can deceive, and proof will only come from the chemistry.”

Curiosity has discovered meteorites in the past, though every irregular or eye-catching find sparks excitement, especially considering the recent discovery of a 12-mile wide body of water beneath the planet’s surface — a breakthrough confirming that Mars, at some point in its past, contained vast oceans and potentially harbored life. This possibility excites those who believe we may find evidence of a lost civilization or even fossils beneath the planet’s dusty surface.

 

 

The latest discovery apparently occurred the same day the InSight Lander touched down, as NASA’s JPL website said Curiosity was greeted by the Mr. Rogers’ jingle “Please would you be my neighbor,” before it got to work studying Little Colonsay.

This is not the first time Curiosity has come across anomalous looking objects, as it once found a piece of plastic, which was later alleged to have originated as debris from its landing.

Other strange looking objects the rover uncovered have convinced people that NASA found animals or artificial remnants it then covered up or ignored. However, the space agency insists these to be the product of pareidolia – a trick our minds play on us to make objects appear recognizable – though still, some remain skeptical.

Back in August, a very distinctly shaped object was discovered by Curiosity igniting speculation of an alien artifact or that it was a piece of the rover which was starting to fall apart. NASA tried to quell the excitement saying it tested the object and found it was a rock.

In other instances, online sleuths have claimed that the rover imaged animals including a squirrel and a duck on the Martian surface. These claims however, should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but if you’re interested you can find them here and here.

 

Even if most of Curiosity’s discoveries are just rocks, there are in fact, some truly unexplained anomalies discovered while observing the red planet – check them out in this episode of Deep Space :

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