Scientists spot massive ice deposits on Mars

Scientists spot massive ice deposits on Mars

"It's like having one of those ant farms where you can see through the glass on the side to learn about what's usually hidden beneath the ground".

Giant water ice reserves have been spotted by scientists just below the surface of Mars, in eight different locations. It would be a tremendous find, as it would not only expand our understanding of Mars, but also provide new leads in the search for life and provide a potentially necessary resource for a manned mission to the planet.

"They might even be a useful source of water for future human exploration of the red planet", Dundas added.

The scientists already knew that Mars has a subterranean frozen water, nearly completely clean. Whilst water ice is known to be present in some locations on Mars, many questions remain about its layering, thickness, purity, and extent.

This could also mean that frozen water will be more accessible to robotic or human exploration.

Scientists have unearthed thick and massive deposits of ice in some regions on Mars.

The MRO, a spacecraft created to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit, has been taking pictures to locate exposed ice in craters, glaciers and ice sheets.

Scientists have uncovered evidence of hundreds of feet of ice underneath the surface of the Red Planet.


Scientists, using a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) spacecraft, have discovered thick deposits of ice beneath the surface of Mars. The sites are in both northern and southern hemispheres of Mars, at latitudes from about 55 to 58 degrees, equivalent on Earth to Scotland or the tip of South America. Furthermore, they think it has formed relatively recently, and is also far more extensive than what has been detected in the study.

"There is shallow ground ice under roughly a third of the Martian surface, which records the recent history of Mars", said Colin Dundas of the U S Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center. The ice cliffs provide a cross-section of the climate over the ages, much like the rings in a tree. "Astronauts could only go to these areas with a bucket and shovel and get all the water they need", said researcher Seiner Merne of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona.



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