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Present day Martian groundwater a mirage, researchers say

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Unfortunately. Water would make a base there much more practical. But unfortunately…

Liquid water previously detected under Mars’ ice-covered south pole is probably just a dusty mirage, according to a new study of the red planet led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists in 2018 had thought they were looking at liquid water when they saw bright radar reflections under the polar cap. However, the new study published Jan. 24 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters found that the reflections matched those of volcanic plains found all over the red planet’s surface.

The researchers think their conclusion — volcanic rock buried under ice — is a more plausible explanation for the 2018 discovery, which was already in question after scientists calculated the unlikely conditions needed to keep water in a liquid state at Mars’ cold, arid south pole.

University of Texas at Austin, “Hope for present-day Martian groundwater dries up in new study” at ScienceDaily (January 24, 2022)

The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: Light carbon another faint hope for past life on Mars? At Science: On Earth the signal would be seen as strong evidence for ancient microbial life.

Did Mars ever have enough mass to have ground water? Is only Earth the perfect mass to solve the 16, 17, 18 issue? Methane - 16 Ammonia- 17 Water - 18 jerry

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