Water on Mars: For the first time, Mars orbiter spotted water in Mars’ canyon system known as the ‘Valles Marineris’
This orbiter was launched in 2016. The Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is a joint mission of the ESA and the Russian Roscosmos agency. Also, this canyon system is the largest in the Solar System; it is about ten times longer and five times deeper than earth’s Grand Canyon.
The hidden water was spotted using the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO)’s Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector (FREND) instrument. This helped to map hydrogen on Mars’ surface.
It (TGO) also helped to look down to one metre below the dusty layer and see what’s really going on below Mars’ surface. That is how the water-rich oases that were otherwise hidden couldn’t be detected so far.
Besides, the detector also showed an unusual amount of hydrogen in the Candor Chaos, situated in the central region of the Valles Marineris.
A little over 40 per cent of the near-surface material region appears to be water. Interestingly, the newly-found water-rich area is about the size of the Netherlands.
Researchers found a central part of Valles Marineris to be packed full of water on Mars.
What it means for Humanity?
It is worth mentioning here that this hidden water on Mars is very much like earth’s permafrost regions. It is here where the water ice permanently persists under dry soil because of the constant low temperatures.
Earlier, a paper published in Science had also confirmed that Mars’ Jezero crater was once a lake.
Pictures from NASA’s Perseverance rover helped make the discovery.
To knowing more about how and where water exists on present-day Mars is important to understand the History of planet Mars. It is said that the red planet was once-abundant in water. This discovery will help the scientists immensely in the search for habitable environments.
World over, enthusiasts have been trying to come up with ways to develop materials, be it concrete or bricks to build a house on Mars.
Moreover, possible signs of past life, and organic materials from Mars’ earliest days will also be cleared sooner.
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