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A new groundbreaking study has again forced us to rethink everything we thought possible about the Red Planet.
A new study has recently shown that the red planet we know as Mars volcanically active.
This is actually huge news.
We’ve never seen direct proof of volcanism on Mars. In fact, no eruptions or magma has been seen so far on Mars.
The evidence of volcanic activity on Mars comes from WATER.
Yeah, Mars had water in the past.
Millions of years ago, the red planet was a much warmer and wetter place.
Now, despite the fact that Mars may appear as a desolate, arid planet, it has lots of water in the form of vapor and Ice.
Water on Mars, lots of water
A group of scientists published a study in Science in August 2018 suggesting that a 20-kilometer-wide lake of liquid water exists beneath solid Ice at Mars’ south pole.
The scientists who penned down the study argue that the water at the Martian South Pole is most likely in a liquid state, due to pressure coming from the surface and thanks to dissolved salt content.
But a new researcher argues that pressure and salt couldn’t have kept the water from freezing.
In fact, only VOLCANIC ACTIVITY could have kept the water warm enough to prevent it from freezing.
Scientists argue that a ‘magma chamber’ that may have formed in the past few hundred years may be the only answer to the mystery as to how water could have been prevented from freezing.
The study published in August of 2018 focused on an area called Planum Australe, and data obtained by the ESA’s Mars Express orbiter, which showed a 20 km wide lake of liquid water. Scientists at the time suggested that the water was in liquid form due to pressure and salt. But as noted by Universe Today, the experts never actually quantified the conditions required to sustain that liquid water.
That’s why a new study recently published in the Geophysical Research Letters offers a new explanation. The authors argue that without the existence of a magma chamber under the Martian south pole, there is likely no water there at all.
“Different people may go different ways with this, and we’re really interested to see how the community reacts to it,” explained Michael Sori, an associate staff scientist in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and a co-lead author of the new paper.
Understanding how this body of liquid water on Mars may have survived could help us understand Mars like never before.
Most importantly, it could help us understand how life might survive on worlds like Mars.
“We think that if there is any life, it likely has to be protected in the subsurface from the radiation,” said Ali Bramson, a postdoctoral research associate at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and a co-lead author of the new paper.
“If there are still magmatic processes active today, maybe they were more common in the recent past and could supply more widespread basal melting. This could provide a more favorable environment for liquid water and thus, perhaps, life.”
Source: AmericanGeophysical Union (AGU)