Liquid Water Likely Lurks Beneath Mars' Polar Ice, Scientists Say

CC0 / / Mars
Mars - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.02.2022
As one of the researchers involved in the study pointed out, liquid water hidden under the ice is hardly unheard of, as such lakes "actually exist beneath glaciers in Arctic and Antarctic regions".
New research suggests that salty liquid water likely exists beneath the ice located at Mars' South Pole despite the low temperatures there.
According to SciTechDaily, Dr David Stillman – a geophysicist from the Southwest Research Institute and co-author of the new study conducted by an "Italian-led team" – pointed out that "lakes of liquid water actually exist beneath glaciers in Arctic and Antarctic regions".

"The exotic salts that we know exist on Mars have amazing 'antifreeze' properties allowing brines to remain liquid down to -103 degrees Fahrenheit", he explained. "We studied these salts in our lab to understand how they would respond to radar".

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.01.2022
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The laboratory measurements conducted by Stillman reportedly support the "oddly bright reflections" picked up by the Mars Express orbiter's MARSIS subsurface sounding radar.

"My Italian colleagues reached out to see if my laboratory experiment data would support the presence of liquid water beneath the Martian ice cap", Stillman explained. "The research showed that we don't have to have lakes of perchlorate and chloride brines, but that these brines could exist between the grains of ice or sediments and are enough to exhibit a strong dielectric response. This is similar to how seawater saturates grains of sand at the shoreline or how flavouring permeates a slushie, but at -103 degrees Fahrenheit below a mile of ice near the South Pole of Mars".

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