Now, astronomers from the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of Johns Hopkins University have found substantial deposits of liquid H20 in what may likely be permafrost ice. Most notably, they’re exactly where scientists did not assume water would ever be.
Futurism reported that the ice was found in an area known as the Medusae Fossae, which is a patch of permafrost many hundreds of kilometers in size. Since it’s on the Martian equator, scientists had figured the place would be well warm enough for ice to remain intact near the surface.
During the year 2008, it was confirmed in a discovery that Mars has permafrost ice around its polar regions. This data was offered by the Odyssey spacecraft’s neutron spectrometer. As it has been reported, The specialized spectrometer picks up on neutron radiation being emitted from the red planet when greater-power cosmic rays rain down from outer space.
“These interact with the best meter of the soil and kick out particles, neutrons incorporated.” A planetary astronomer, Johns Hopkins’ APL, Jack Wilson told Cosmos:
By analyzing these particles, scientists are able to recognize which substances the cosmic rays are interacting with, and continue to do this. When Wilson along with his group gave the data a second look, they realized an earlier analysis had a noticeable lower resolution near around 520 kilometers. After enhancing this resolution over to 290 kilometers, they discovered greater concentrations of water — around 40 % of the area going by weight.
“[It’s] comparable to lowering the altitude of the spacecraft by 50%,” said Wilson. “You’re having a improved view of what’s going on.” The team’s discoveries were published in the journal Icarus.
Now acquiring this leads scientists to think water on Mars is far more prevalent than previously believed. In an APL press release, Wilson stated: “Perhaps the signature could be explained in terms of comprehensive deposits of hydrated salts, but how these hydrated salts came to be in the formation is also hard to clarify. So for now, the signature remains a mystery worthy of additional study, and Mars continues to surprise us.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.