As everyone knows, life cannot exist without water, and scientists who were interested to discover whether Mars has or ever had any sort of life forms, then it must hold some residual quantity of water in different states. Now, researchers have finally discovered an enormous and easily accessible ice sheet beneath the surface of the red planet.
The recent discovery of the gigantic sheet of ice on Mars has tremendous implications. It has already captivated the attention of the scientific community as the discovery has tremendous implications for all their future research. According to the scientific study, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the ice sheet was found around 3 to 33 below the surface. It holds as much potential liquid as Earth’s Lake Superior and it has a size larger than that of the New Mexico.
Jack Holt from the University of Texas in Austin and the co-author of the study has released a statement which reveals that the ice deposit is more easily accessible than other similar sheets of ice on Mars. This is thanks to the fact that it is located at a relatively low altitude as well as being in a flat and smooth area. This area facilitates the landing of a spacecraft compared to other locations where scientists previously discovered buried ice.
The purpose of the study is to analyze the specific region on Mars known as Utopia Planitia where the ice sheet was discovered. This can be done with a ground-penetrating Shallow Radar which is aboard NASA’s own Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The conditions of the Martian Landscape are similar to those of the Canadian Arctic where buried ice was also discovered. Scientists used the similarities between the area on Earth to that of the one on Mars to correctly deduce the existence of the ice sheet.
Cassie Stuurnman, another co-author of the study thinks that the deposit of ice was formed through the accumulation of snowfall and mixed with dust during a time in the planet’s history when it has slightly more tilted than it is today. Researchers claimed that ice sheet is around 260 feet to 560 feet wide and it contains around 85 percent water ice.
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