Briny Underground Lakes May Be All That Remain of Martian Ocean | Smart News

When scientists first found signs of a lake under Mars’ south pole in 2018, questions abounded over how such a feature could form and whether the measurements were accurate. Now, a study published this week in Nature Astronomy not only confirms the size and location of the first lake, but also shows three more, smaller bodies of water nearby.

The study adds 100 measurements to the team’s original 29 figures for a clearer picture of the region. The four lakes are hidden a mile under the surface of Mars’ icy south pole, and may be full of salt and sediments to remain liquid even in extreme cold temperatures. Some scientists not involved in the study are cautious about the research team’s conclusions, but the study authors see the discovery as an optimistic signal in the search for life on Mars.

“Here we have not just an occasional body of water,

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Finding Martian Microbes Could Require Digging Miles Underground

NASA’s Perseverance rover is flying to Mars as you read this sentence. It will land there in February 2021 and set aside rocks with promising signs of ancient life, for a future mission to pick up for analysis.

But what about current life on Mars? Are microbes embedded in the ice caps? Perhaps they are sheltering in water runoff in some crater? Or, as some scientists suggest, is life buried miles underground — a difficult spot for us to search, at best?

A new study is trying to figure out ways to hunt for life on worlds that have little or no running water at the surface. One easy answer, in theory, is to look to water reserves underground — and we are pretty sure Mars

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