Italian Space Agency says it’s found evidence of water on Mars

Orbital view of the north polar region of Mars

Modal Trigger Orbital view of the north polar region of Mars NASA

Alan Duffy, an astronomer from Swinburne University and the lead scientist of Australia's Science Channel, said: "This is a stunning result that suggests water on Mars is not a temporary trickle like previous discoveries but a persistent body of water that provides the conditions for life for extended periods of time".

It stretches for the length of Lake Windermere a mile beneath the planet's frozen and dusty surface.

"Many scientists have said "where there is water, there is the potential for life".

Everywhere on Mars there lies the evidence that this desert planet was once wet and humid.

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According to DailyMail report, the reservoir which spans 20km and is buried a mile (1.6km) underground, was discovered by scientists using radar to "probe" the Red Planet's south polar ice cap.

Space agency NASA's Curiosity Rover had found that liquid water does flow intermittently on Mars and it also detected that water had existed there in the past.

"A single body of water could be a quirk of nature, but the existence of many lakes would indicate that subglacial water is a common occurrence, and that could mean that liquid water was present on Mars throughout most of its geological history", he said.

What is believed to be liquid water is sitting below Mars' southern polar ice cap and is described as a "well-defined, 20-kilometer-wide zone". Mars is famously rich in magnesium, calcium, and sodium which could have all dissolved into the water, forming a brine and dropping the freezing point of water much lower.

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"Caution needs to be exercised, however, as the concentration of salts needed to keep the water liquid could be fatal for any microbial life similar to Earth's", added Watson, who was not involved in the research.

This spacecraft carries an instrument called the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument (MARSIS). The body of water was found under ice near the South Pole on the Red Planet. The presence of the underground lake was discovered by scientists at the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), in Rome, DailyMail cited.

Evidence for Mars' watery past is prevalent across its surface in the form of vast dried-out river valley networks and big outflow channels clearly imaged by orbiting spacecraft. The analogous Antarctic lakes are chock full of minerals that make them extremely briny-around 200 PSU, or practical salinity units. That's because polarized materials like water-which has a positive charge on the hydrogen side and a negative charge on the oxygen side-change two parameters of each radar pulse, the amount that is reflected and the speed at which radar waves move through the material. MARSIS's wavelength is over 300 feet and can penetrate deeper, whereas SHARAD's is 50 feet and scours closer to the surface.

In May, NASA launched another spacecraft, the InSight Mars lander, that will dig under the surface after it reaches a flat plain just north of the Martian equator in November.

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"It is odd that SHARAD can not confirm this discovery".

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