Tech UPTechnologyThey discover a colossal reservoir of water on Mars

They discover a colossal reservoir of water on Mars

The largest canyon in the solar system, Valles Marineris has a distinctive mark on the surface of Mars: a tectonic rift subsequently widened by erosion and marked by nearby channels potentially carved by water. Now, the trace gas orbiter (TGO) ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars has been measuring the presence of hydrogen on the surface of the Red Planet and its data suggests that there is a huge hidden reservoir of water below the ground at the bottom of this vast canyon.

ESA detected the water just one meter below the surface of Valles Marineris that covers 4,000 kilometers of canyons.

With TGO we can look up to a meter below this layer of dust and see what is actually happening below the surface of Mars and, more importantly, locate water-rich ‘oases’ that could not be detected with instruments. previous “, clarifies Igor Mitrofanov of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and leader of the study.

The water -rich area – whether linked to minerals or as groundwater ice – is roughly the size of the Netherlands and overlaps with the deep valleys of Candor Chaos, part of the canyon system considered promising in the search for water in the red planet.

“We discovered that a central part of Valles Marineris was filled with water, much more water than we expected,” says Alexey Malakhov of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and co-author of the study published in the journal Icarus . “This is very similar to permafrost regions on Earth, where water ice persists permanently under dry soil due to constant low temperatures.”

 

 

Most likely it exists in the form of ice

We know that there is water on Mars. We can see it at the cold poles, insured like ice. Mars is a frozen desert and there, at the poles, is where most of it seems to be; At the equator, conditions are too warm for water ice to form on the surface.

“FREND’s unique observing technique provides much higher spatial resolution than previous measurements of this type, allowing us now to see water features that were not previously seen. We found that a central part of Valles Marineris was filled with water. ” Much more water than we expected. This water could be in the form of ice or water chemically bound to other minerals in the soil,” say the authors.

According to scientists, knowing more about how and where water exists on this planet is essential to understanding what happened to the water that once ran in abundance on Mars, “and it helps us look for habitable environments, possible signs of past life, and materials. organics from the early days of Mars, “concluded study co-author Colin Wilson.

The current orbiter will be joined in 2022 by a European rover, Rosalind Franklin , and a Russian surface platform, Kazachok , and they will all work together to inquire about the existence of life on Mars.

Referencia: I. Mitrofanov, A. Malakhov, M. Djachkova, D. Golovin, M. Litvak, M. Mokrousov, A. Sanin, H. Svedhem, L. Zelenyi,

The evidence for unusually high hydrogen abundances in the central part of Valles Marineris on Mars, Icarus, Volume 374, 2022, 114805, ISSN 0019-1035,

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114805.

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