There may be water on Mars, reveals NASA - See pic

1_11_Mars surface

While scientists have known that Mars is a pretty icy place for years, the new study helps confirm exactly where those ice sheets exist on the red planet.

Thanks to erosion wearing away surface rock on Mars, scientists using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted thick deposits of ice in the planet's mid-latitudes that extend hundreds of feet deep.

However, Dundas believes there are still more ice pockets to be found, and potentially even some closer to more "hospitable" locations for future explorers closer to the equator of Mars.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been beaming back high-resolution images of the planet for over a decade now, and for most of the time, nothing too special pops up.

"We've found a new window into the ice for study, which we hope will be of interest to those interested in all aspects of ice on Mars and its history", said Colin Dundas, a member of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Centre in Arizona and an author of a report published Thursday in the journal Science.

"There've been suggestions that, when there's high obliquity, the poles get heated a lot - they're tilted over and pointed more at the sun, and so that redistributes ice toward the midlatitudes", Dundas told Space.com. It's the first detailed look at the layered structure of Mars' ice.

Similar to ice cores recovered from the Earth's surface, these ice sheets may preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate on Mars. Imaging with a spectrograph provided evidence of water at the Martian surface in the region, reinforcing the idea that this could be ice.

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Analyzing these features with a filter that accentuates colors, a team of researchers saw something notable for the Red Planet: a number of them had a distinctively blue color. Some of them begin just one to two meters below the Martian surface of the rocks and dust and reach a depth of at least 100 meters. Streaks on images of the surface of Mars, thought to be water, were previous year revealed to be just drifts of sand.

UNDERGROUND ice supplies have been discovered on Mars which could provide unlimited water for humans looking to colonise the Red Planet. This indicates that Martian surface contains enormous amounts of ice.

Balme noted that this find would also benefit potential future explorers, especially given the rapidly approaching Mars exploration deadlines of various countries around the world.

It is estimated that almost one-third of Mars surface has ice just below its surface.

Scientists point out that the hidden ice sheets could pave the way for supporting life on Mars. These ice sheets were found below large slopes, and the interesting thing is that these ice sheets are made up of relatively clean water.

The new study suggests that the ice built up over time, much the same way that Earth's glaciers and ice sheets came to be.

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