Underground lake found on Mars by Italian researchers

"It's an exciting discovery, if it's true", said Tanya Harrison, Professional Martian and Director of Research for Arizona State University's Space Technology and Science Initiative, who was not involved in this discovery, "since we know that life can survive in subglacial lakes, and brine pockets inside glaciers, here on Earth".

The Red Planet was likely once rich in liquid water much like Earth, but has since become arid and desolate.

Between May 2012 and December 2015, the Mars Express spacecraft was used to conduct a radar survey of a region called Planum Australe, located in the southern ice cap of Mars.

A few years ago, biologists found more than 3,500 unique gene sequences in Lake Vostok which had been isolated for more than 15 million years; Lake Vostok gets no sunlight with it being 4,000 metres below the ice and has a recorded temperature of -89.2c, showing life to be hardy. Planetary scientists have been embarked on a quest to find liquid water on the red planet, because life as we know it can not survive without water to act as a solvent in its biochemistry.

Jeffrey Plaut of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in an email that the interpretation that it is liquid water is "certainly plausible, but it's not quite a slam dunk yet".

"I predict future spacecraft mission to Mars and engineers are going to be working very hard to design methods to sample this remote water source from this newly discovered subterranean Martian lake".

This, however, is the best evidence to date of an environment on Mars that could be friendly to known forms of life - these "extremophile" bacteria - right now.

Orosei said the lake's water was below freezing point but remained liquid thanks to a sizeable amount of salt. Image credit: NASA/ESA/J. Bell (Cornell University)/M. Wolff (SSI).

Andrea Cicchetti, MARSIS operations manager and a co-author of the paper, said the researchers have seen hints of interesting subsurface features suggestive of water for years but "couldn't reproduce the result from orbit to orbit".

Police identify girl killed in Toronto shooting
Julianna Kozis , 10, was killed in the shooting rampage on Sunday in Toronto's popular Greektown neighborhood. The gunman, identified by Ontario's police watchdog as Faisal Hussain , was also killed.

Despite the obvious excitement surrounding the findings, Mars' surface is "inhospitable to life", according to the Open University's Dr. Manish Patel, and researchers are not any closer to finding life than they were prior to the announcement.

This principle of following the water is key to astrobiology - the study of potential life beyond Earth.

The detection was made using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft.

A team of scientists announced today that they had found a large body of liquid water beneath the southern ice caps of Mars.

MARSIS "then measures how the radio waves propagate and reflect back to the spacecraft", said the study.

These reflections "provide scientists with information about what lies beneath the surface".

From left, Italian astrophysicists Roberto Orosei, Elena Pettinelli and Enrico Flamini poses for photographers with a replica of Cosmo-SkyMed radar satellites, at the Italian Space Agency headquarters prior to a press conference in Rome, Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

It's not clear where the water the Italian team found is coming from, and it's not certain there are any other underground lakes to be found. Subsurface echo power is color coded and deep blue corresponds to the strongest reflections, which are interpreted as being caused by the presence of water.

Recommended News

  • Trump Looking To Meet Putin In 2019

    Trump Looking To Meet Putin In 2019

    In doing so he created a problem because he exposed his partner to fierce criticism in the United States". Ushakov said the two sides had not yet started work on organising the Washington meeting.
    Donald Trump and Jean Claude Juncker: ‘Boredom and irritation’ - body language analysed

    Donald Trump and Jean Claude Juncker: ‘Boredom and irritation’ - body language analysed

    I've had several White House meetings with President Trump to express my concerns in strong terms. This year's soybean crop could yield a record harvest for IL soybean farmer Dave Kestel.
    Facebook to launch its own internet satellite 'Athena' by next year

    Facebook to launch its own internet satellite 'Athena' by next year

    They are calling this satellite " Athena ", and the company is not saying anything much so far other than confirming it. In the 2018 messages, Facebook reps refer to a "small satellite experimental application for the Athena satellite".
  • Sergio Marchionne Currently in a Coma With Irreversible Brain Damage

    Sergio Marchionne Currently in a Coma With Irreversible Brain Damage

    The colourful and charismatic Marchionne became chairman of Ferrari in September 2014, replacing Luca di Montezemolo. Marchionne brought it back to profitability in just one year, recording income of almost 1.5 billion euros in 2005.
    Demi Lovato Hospitalized for Heroin Overdose

    Demi Lovato Hospitalized for Heroin Overdose

    According to the dispatch call obtained by ET, Lovato was unconscious when paramedics arrived. She joined Iggy Azalea on Sunday at California's Mid-State Fair, where the pair performed.
    Vast Lake Of Liquid Water Discovered On Mars

    Vast Lake Of Liquid Water Discovered On Mars

    Even if this new discovery is validated, experts are lukewarm about whether this body of water would be suitable for life. Orosei and colleagues used a radar instrument called MARSIS aboard the Mars Express spacecraft to make their discovery.
  • Guardiola pens new City contract

    Man City are coming back then; they are outstandingly strong. "It's a good moment and hopefully it will stay like that". And you need every player to be successful in a long season.
    New Trump-Cohen audio recording captures talk of Playboy model payoff

    New Trump-Cohen audio recording captures talk of Playboy model payoff

    Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said the other 11 recordings are of Cohen discussing Trump with other, unnamed individuals. The audio recording isn't clear, so it's hard to tell if the president is asking Cohen to pay in cash or not pay in cash.
    Pakistan's Who's Who vote in knife-edge election

    Pakistan's Who's Who vote in knife-edge election

    Others or the non-aligned candidates, including independents, are ahead in 62 constituencies. "Now it's time to test out Imran". Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and accused elements of the judiciary and military of conspiring to bring down his government.
  • Sacrebleu! Pavard stunner wins World Cup goal of the tournament

    Sacrebleu! Pavard stunner wins World Cup goal of the tournament

    The goal levelled the match to 2-2, although France ended up winning the 4-3 tie. "Thank you all for your posts". Pavard is the first European player to win the Goal of the Tournament accolade since its creation in 2006.
    China police probe vaccine maker Changsheng Bio

    China police probe vaccine maker Changsheng Bio

    Changsheng shares, which resumed trading on Monday afternoon session after being suspended in the morning, were down 10 percent. In particular, noting that the company had falsified data regarding the production of freeze-dried human rabies vaccine .
    Trump says China is targeting U.S.  farmers, being ‘vicious’

    Trump says China is targeting U.S. farmers, being ‘vicious’

    The president said he was fighting to get America a better deal after decades of being taken advantage of by trading partners. President Trump "has promised that he had the back of every American farmer and rancher", Perdue said.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.