Scientists believe that Mars Lake could be created by recent volcanic activity



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South Pole of March

Mars shows its south pole.

ESA

The red planet is sometimes considered a dead planet, but new research suggests that it may hide a rocky volcanic beating in its crust.

In July 2018, an international team of scientists discovered that Mars was probably harboring liquid water under its southern ice cap. Using the data obtained by the Mars Express Orbiter of the European Space Agency, they suggested that there was a saltwater lake hidden under the ceiling, about 12.5 miles (about 20 kilometers wide). Due to similar phenomena observed beneath the Earth's ice caps, the principal investigator, Roberto Orosei, said at the time "that we had to conclude that there is no one." water on Mars today ".

The Orosei team suggested that salts, which lower the melting point of ice, might be present at a concentration sufficient to allow formation of the lake.

This new study is based on this research but poses that the liquid water under the ice cap has not completely frozen, not because of the salts, but because of the volcanic activity in the basement of Mars.

With the help of a number of physical models, the team tried to understand the level of heat that would have to be generated to form the proposed subterranean lake. Their article, published Tuesday in Geophysical Research Letters, showed that a plausible solution would be if a magma chamber was present at a depth less than 10 km.

Their model excludes that salt alone can create sufficient conditions for the formation of liquid water. Thus, the paper concludes that "recent magmatism may offer a plausible explanation" but that without such activity there may not be any liquid water at the ice cap.

The team suggests that the NASA InSight lander, which is positioned on the surface of Mars and equipped with a thermal probe, will provide a more accurate picture of the heat that the Martian crust could take. The interior of Mars is not as hot as that of Earth, but we do not know exactly how hot it is.

Of course, if there is liquid water, does that mean that there can also be life? An underground lake offers Eden's garden potential, a safe haven where life can still, um, find a way.

"We think that if there is a life, it will probably have to be protected from radiation in the basement," said Ali Bramson, author of the new newspaper.

February 13 NASA bid farewell to its resilient Martian rover, Opportunitywho studies the planet from the ground for 15 years. At this time, opportunity discovered evidence that Mars was once wetrather than dusty and dry.

And although, unfortunately, Opportunity is dead, Mars may well be more alive than we thought.

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