The Martian water theory confirms the presence of water on the Red Planet today in the form of water-ice deposits.
A recent discovery of Mars at the South Pole appears to have been illuminated by bright watery reflections.
However, a new study led by Cornell University warns astronauts not to be fooled by radar reflections that have led other experts to believe they are a sign of liquid water.
Alternatively, Cornell scientists suggested that it could be geologic layers rather than liquid water.
In recent years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have been among the space agencies that have confirmed the presence of liquid water on Mars.
However, not all reflections on the surface of Mars indicate the presence of H20.
Hydro Radar Reflections
(Image: European Space Agency photo via Getty Images)
The new research has been published in the journal natural astronomy on September 26, showing that the bright radar reflections under the south pole of Mars do not contain liquid water.
The research suggests that the layers, not the liquid, are the reflections astronomers see when they stare at their observing instruments, including NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover image of Mars’ south pole sediments.
The study does not dispute the fact that water is present, but in frozen form in many places on Mars, including the north and south polar ice caps.
However, it is believed that the recent discovery of bright reflections under the surface of Mars’ south pole sediments was an area of 1.4 km with a dense formation of pure water ice deposits by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express rover.
During a Cornell University press release, it was revealed that some scientists have interpreted the aforementioned observations, collected by the Mars Advanced Radar Instrument for Subsurface and Ionospheric Instruments (MARSIS), as plausible evidence of liquid water.
Cornell’s authors, including researcher Dan Lalish, said such an explanation is possible but does not mean it is absolute.
Read also: A new study disputes the traditional theory about the water of Mars
In particular, Lalish and other Cornell researchers argue that the bright reflections are not necessarily evidence that the said region of Mars contains liquid water.
Instead, the research team explained, the strong reflections could result from overlap between geological layers, which do not contain liquid water or other rare materials such as minerals.
Lalish said he used layers of carbon dioxide embedded in the water because they know it is already present in large quantities near the surface of the ice sheet, as cited by the Cornell Chronicle. This also showed that the models allowed the researchers to determine that the thickness and distance of geological layers have a greater impact on the strength of the reflection than their composition.
Martian water theory
Exposing liquid groundwater on the red planet’s south pole could help rather than mislead astronauts as they embark on the Martian landscape in the next decade, where they will need access to water in order to survive, according to Space and Astronomy News. Universe Today.
While the said phrase “follow the water” may not always apply, it is still a crucial idea amid the ongoing exploration of Mars.
In the past several decades, astronomers have discovered the presence of Martian water as ice today, a sign when the planet was covered in oceans, lakes, and rivers similar to Earth billions of years ago.
Related articles: Glaciers on Mars boast enough to inundate the entire planet
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