A huge water cache was found just a few feet below the surface of the Mars..
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars Orbiter has discovered “a significant amount of water” in the Valles Marineris, the largest known canyon in the solar system. According to researchers, 40 percent of the material near the surface of an area of 15,830 square miles (41,000 square kilometers) could be water ice.
The data beamed back from the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) Fine-Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector (FREND) device is at an unusually high level. hydrogen,together air Water is produced in a place called Candor Chaos, a Dutch-sized area located in the center of the Valles Marineris.Since life Earth Evidence of heavy dependence on water Mars water It can be an important clue that the planet was once the home of life, or that life may still be there.
The study, completed as part of a joint operation between ESA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will be published in the March 2022 journal Icarus. Published online on November 19th..
“We found that the central part of the Valles Marineris was filled with much more water than expected,” said Alexei Malakhov, a scientist at the Institute of Space Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Said in a statement.. “This is very similar to the permafrost region of the earth, where water ice survives forever under dry soil due to constant low temperatures.”
When the detected hydrogen actually combines with oxygen to form water molecules, “40% of the material near the surface of this region appears to be water,” the lead author of the study, Igor Mitrofanov, said in a statement. I am saying.
The Valles Marineris is a huge structural crack on the surface of Mars that is smoothed and widened by wind and water erosion. The canyon is over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) deep, 10 or 5 times deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. According to NASA, If the Valles Marineris was on EarthA huge canyon spread throughout the continental United States, from New York to California.
TGO’s FREND device allows orbiters orbiting the red planet since 2018 to scan for water clues by detecting neutrons emitted on or beneath the surface of Mars.So that neutrons are formed when energy particles are called Cosmic rays When colliding with Martian soil, dry surfaces emit more neutrons than moist surfaces. This allows the team to determine the number of neutrons they produce and calculate the amount of water on the surface. This method allows TGO to detect water up to 3.28 feet (1 meter) below the surface of Mars.
In the past, when scientists searched for water ice in the equatorial region of Mars, they could only find strange traces of matter adhering to the dust on its surface. The ability of TGO to penetrate the upper basement has dramatically expanded its ability to find water pockets on the Red Planet.
“With TGO, you can look down one meter below this dusty layer to see what’s really happening under the surface of Mars, and importantly, it can be detected by older equipment. You can find an “oasis” that is rich in water that wasn’t there, “says Mitrofanov. ..
More observations are needed to identify the type of water the researchers have discovered (whether it is ice or chemically bound to minerals in the soil). However, given that much of the material near the surface of the region in the region appears to be water, “overall, this water is likely to be in the form of ice,” Malahoff said. I am.
Whatever form the water takes, this discovery identifies a large, easy-to-exploit reservoir of water that future rover can land and investigate nearby for both water and signs of life.
“Knowing how and where water is now on Mars is essential to understanding what happened to Mars’ once abundant water, a habitable environment, past life. A potential sign of this, which helps in the search for early organic matter on Mars. “ESA’s ExoMarsTrace GasOrbiter Project Scientist, Colin Wilson, said in a statement.
Originally published on Live Science.
A huge reservoir of “hidden water” found on Mars
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