Liquid news – water buried on Mars?

A European probe has found dramatic evidence that liquid water still exists on Mars.
Ground-piercing radar revealed the presence of the water in a crater buried a mile below the Red Planet’s surface.
And excited space scientists believe that because it seems not to be frozen, it could be teeming with life.
Mars Express, in orbit around Mars for two years, detected the 160-mile wide crater with an experiment called Marsis that was switched on in June.
It lies in a region called Chryse Planitia and was buried in volcanic ash billions of years ago.
The radar signals clearly reveal a large amount of ice in the crater, which was caused by an asteroid impact.
But the signal reflected back from the bottom of the crater is so strong that it appears to be liquid water – a key ingredient for life as we know it.
Marsis investigator Professor John Guest, of University College, London, told me: “If we can confirm that this is liquid, it will be exciting news because water is essential to life as we know it.”
Marsis also detected almost pure water ice stretching more than a mile down from the surface at the planet’s north pole.
French members of the Mars Express team also revealed yesterday that they have found minerals on the planet that could only have been formed in liquid water.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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