Water found on Mars hid from human curiosity under a 1.5-kilometer surface layer at the south pole
The radar penetrating the Martian surface layer helped scientists find liquid water on Mars. This is an important point, as there is a small chance to find life on the Red Planet and better understand the past of Mars.
In studies of Mars, we are accustomed to focus on the achievements of rovers. However, everyone forgets about the existence of 6 satellites in orbit. Mars Express from ESA has recently become a real star, as it provided convincing evidence of the presence of liquid water on Mars. No, the researchers did not miss it in the search process. It’s just that the liquid hides at a depth of 1.5 km under the South Pole, forming a 20-kilometer shallow lake.
Life on Mars?
For the search and study of the subsurface of the Martian lake used the radar device MARSIS aboard the Mars Express. MARSIS passes radio waves through the planet. They are reflected and report the presence of ice, stone or water. Analysis shows that the lake is deep and must be salty in order not to freeze. Some scientists believe that there is a chance of the presence of life.
Of course, if life in such conditions is not on Earth, then for Mars the chances will decrease. A few months before the discovery of Martian water, in the Canadian Arctic, under the Devon Glacier, a pair of similar subsurface lakes were found.
The ice cap of the south pole is represented by frozen water and carbon dioxide.
If researchers make their way into the Earth’s arctic depths and find a living microbial community there, then Mars’s potential for life will also increase. Although the conditions are still different severity.
On Earth, radars are used in many industrial sectors. For example, in construction, radars help inspect railways, roads, tunnels, bridges, and complex underground engineering networks. Also bring great benefits in the study of minerals.
However, this is not the limit. New radar concepts created by AMIRA International, an Australian research organization, will reduce the 5-meter antenna to 10 cm. If you combine this technology with satellites and hyperspectral cameras, you can use a swarm of devices to scan huge areas of space in full.
This would allow to dive under the surface and clearly display the details, as well as to conduct a more effective search for minerals. Is it possible to use the development to search for life in the Martian lakes? Now NASA is funding a study on the use of small drones to study the Red Planet. If you install powerful, but small radars on them, this will simplify the research task and reduce the search time (let's not forget about monetary savings).