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The ExoMars space probe discovers “large amounts” of water hidden under the surface of Mars

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December 16, 2021 03:11 GMT

The tank found is about the size of the Netherlands.

A gas tracking team of Russia’s European ExoMars space program has discovered “large amounts” of water hidden beneath the surface of Mars, in the heart of the Valles Marineris Valley, the European Space Agency said in a statement. Release This is Wednesday.

“We discovered that a central part of Valles Marineris is filled with water, much more than we expected,” said Alexei Malagov, a member of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “This is very similar to permafrost regions on Earth, where ice persists permanently under dry soil due to the constant low temperatures,” he explained.

The discovery was made by an instrument of the spacecraft, which is responsible for mapping hydrogen found on the Red Planet. “Using it, we can look for a meter below that layer of dust, find out what’s really going on in the subterranean areas, and most importantly, identify ‘oases’ rich in water that could not be detected using previous devices,” Malagov noted. .

One reason this solid state reservoir is not exposed at the surface is that water generally evaporates due to the temperature and atmospheric conditions at the planet’s equator. The statement notes that “there must be a special set of conditions, still unclear, to preserve the fluid.”

An encouraging outlook for future exploration

The detected area, which occupies the largest valley in the solar system, is approximately the size of the Netherlands. space mission Claims which could be “easily exploitable” for future explorers, due to its shallow depth.

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