Saturday, December 03, 2016 | Updated at 6:27 AM ET

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Mars ice deposits hold as much water as Lake Superior, researchers say

First Posted: Nov 24, 2016 07:17 PM EST
FRANCE - JUNE 01: New Proof of the Presence of Water in Martian Underground in France in June, 2001 - The 10th of March 1997 a Mars view taken by NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST). At this time, it is the shortest distance to the Earth, nearly about 56 mi

FRANCE - JUNE 01: New Proof of the Presence of Water in Martian Underground in France in June, 2001 - The 10th of March 1997 a Mars view taken by NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST). At this time, it is the shortest distance to the Earth, nearly about 56 mi(Photo : Photo by 2134/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images))

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter found a large frozen lake, with the same volume of water as Lake Superior, on Mars.

Researchers examined part of Mars Utopia Planitia region, in the mid-northern latitudes, with the help of Mars orbiter's ground-penetrating Shallow Radar (SHARAD). After analyzing the data from the Radar instrument they found a deposit more extensive in an area that the state of New Mexico.

According to Space, the scans revealed that the ice deposits spread in thickness from about 260 feet (80 meters) to about 560 feet (170 meters) and is composed of about 50 to 85 percent water. The rest of the part is likely comprised of dust and rocky material.

Last year, NASA made a landmark announcement after its researchers found the evidence of flowing salt water on Mars surface, though it's trapped within the ice caps at the north and south poles of the planet. The caps are an average of 2 miles thick and could cover the Martian surface with 18 feet of water if it completely melted, reported by ZME Science.

"The deposit is probably more accessible than most water ice on Mars", said by Jack Holt of the University of Texas, and also pointed out," The area is relatively low latitude, a smooth area where landing of spacecraft would be easier than some of the other areas ".

A recent study on Mars suggested that the planet was the homeland of a large ocean in its northern hemisphere that may have made it potentially habitable.

The scientist determines the deposit was likely formed as a result of snowfall that took place during that time. At the present latitude, water is unable to exist at the surface, as it will change from a solid to gas, a process called sublimation.

According to Leslie Tamppari of NASA's JPL, "We know early Mars had enough liquid water on the surface for rivers and lakes."

The deposit accounts of one percent known water ice on Mars will help scientists get a better understanding of the history of the Red Planet.

 

 

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