This is another Eureka moment for NASA.
NASA scientists have discovered massive layers of ice, protruding from eroded cliffs on Mars.
This discovery comes as great news for potential future astronauts and colonies on Mars.
“This is a new window into ground ice on Mars,” said Mr. Colin Dundas, from the U.S. Geological Survey who co-discovered the ice layers on the red planet.
Although it has long been known that there is ice on the surface of Mars, better studying its depth and location could be vital for future human missions to the red planet, said the report published in Science.
Shane Byrne, a member of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona (USA) and one of the authors of the investigation, affirmed that “basically, future Martian astronauts could go there with a bucket and a shovel and obtain all the water that they need.”
The discovery indicates that there are large underground ice deposits buried one or two meters deep in surprisingly low latitudes.
“This type of ice is more widespread than previously thought,” said Dundas.
Furthermore, experts believe how the ice on Mars was formed recently. According to experts, the sites appear to be smooth on the surface and not covered by craters formed by the celestial debris deposited on Mars over time.
The ice shows fringes and color variations that suggest that ice formed in sheet layers, perhaps as snow accumulated over time, according to the report.
According to the research, which is based on data collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2005, these underground cliffs appear to be “almost pure ice.”
Drilling the core of one of these sites and bringing it to Earth would provide a treasure trove of information to geologists about the Martian climate of the past, said G. Scott Hubbard, a space scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, (USA). UU.).
This isn’t the first time we’ve detected ice on Mars. Back in 2002, NASA’s Odyssey mission scanned the surface of the red planet and spotted signs of shallow ice at high altitudes. Furthermore, in 2008, the Phoenix mission found water Ice at its landing site near the Martian North Pole.
Two years ago, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered buried ice sheets mid-latitudes on Mars, which old as much water as Lake Superior.
“[They are] very cool images that capture the subsurface ice predicted by theory,” says Caltech planetary scientist Bethany Ehlmann, who wasn’t involved with the study.
“Also, we may be able to core the ice for a record of climate change on recent Mars, much like we do on Earth.”