Although satellite data clearly suggests otherwise, scientists have determined that it is possible that the “Red Planet” could have a hidden water table beneath its rocky crust. What does this mean for future research? Read on and explore.
According to news sources, a small amount of water detected on Mars is locked in the polar ice caps, but despite this, newly-discovered geological features suggest that it is more than likely that water once flowed across the planet’s surface. Earlier this year, strange globs seen on the Phoenix Mars Lander offered the first tantalizing suggestions that the planet Mars among its other secrets, holds water. Although the images are not of a high enough resolution to carefully scrutinize details, they do reflect what appear to be liquid droplets growing, merging and then dripping on the lander’s leg over the course of a Martian month.
Scientists claim that this discovery sustains the theory that Mars may be inhabited although that remains a theory. The European Space Agency's Mars Express satellite has utilized ground-breaking radar in their quest to discover a water table, which research indicated should be found within 9 kilometers (more than 5 miles) of the planet’s surface, an area well within the scope of the probe’s instruments. No evidence has yet been found.
In the words of scientist, Bill Farrell, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland:
“We shouldn't give up the search just yet, however. The satellite's radar signal should bounce back from shiny surfaces like water…If the layer of rock and icy soil above the water table is particularly conductive, it could be absorbing enough energy from the radar to obscure a telltale signal. We don't want future geologists to look at their radar data and say no reflectance means no aquifer.”
So, is there a water table on Mars or isn’t there?
At this point, no one can say for sure but who knows?
Maybe one day ET can swim home instead of phoning home!
What do YOU think about this?