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Last Updated : Jul 26, 2018 05:44 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Italian scientists discover 20-km wide underground body of liquid water on Mars

This discovery could also mean the presence of other water bodies elsewhere on Mars

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An Italian team has picked up signals of a 20 km-wide liquid body on Mars, which is hidden 1.5 kms under the planet's ice cap using ground penetration radar on an orbiting spacecraft.

According to a report by ABC News, planetary scientist at the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics and author of a research paper about the finding said that it is unknown whether the body of water is an artefact of past oceans or part of a bigger network of subterranean lakes.

He added that this discovery could also mean the presence of other water bodies elsewhere on Mars.

Despite Mars being a prime suspect in the search for extra-terrestrial life, the attempts of finding liquid water on Mars has seen many failures. In 1877, an Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli thought he saw channels crisscrossing Mars’ surface through his telescope.

This observation was wrongly deduced by the media at that time as they thought the intelligent life on the planet had excavated canals for water transportation throughout the planet.

After seeing what possibly could be dark streaks of salty water that flowed down the Martian dune during warm seasons, the planetary scientists were certainly delighted.

Geologists suggest that those rivers could just be the avalanches of dry sand. According to some renowned scientists, the surface of Mars isn’t a good place to store water as the surface temperatures average around negative 55 degree Celsius. Gretchen Benedix, an astrogeologist at Curtin University said, “If you’re going to find it, it’s going to be underground.”
First Published on Jul 26, 2018 05:44 pm
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