||| NASA, JPL-Caltech, University Of Arizona |||
Scientists have discovered layers of water ice buried just feet beneath the surface of the red planet's midsection. The discovery helps paint a picture of the planet's geological history which could give us clues to how it became the desolate, red wasteland it is.
Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey is the one who discovered the ice layers. Dundas said, "This is a new window into ground ice on Mars." The first clue that there could be water on Mars came in 2002 when the NASA Odyssey mission scanned the planet from orbit and detected signs of shallow ground ice.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/06edeab189720028f2aca707f50ce0a382b0176829f08c727c32355afff65718.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: National Geographic</span>
In 2016, scientists used the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to find a buried ice sheet at Mar's mid-latitudes that holds as much water as Lake Superior. Until Dunda's research, scientists struggled to understand the extent and accessibility of Mar's water.
Dundas study features eight sites that include steep banks where erosion has exposed layers of rock and ice that can be seen from overhead by the MRO. The bands of ice begin at between three and six feet underground, so it wouldn't be difficult for people to reach it once on Mars.
Caltech planetary scientist Bethany Ehlman said, "[They are] very cool images that capture the subsurface ice predicted by theory."
Another scientist, Angel- Abbud-Madrid, the director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines said, "It’s looking more encouraging that water ice could be available at depths shallow enough that could be used as resources for human missions to Mars."
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