The signs of liquid water on Mars are probably caused by something else

According to the new findings of the researchers, the reflections on the surface of Mars, which were previously only considered as the presence of liquid water, may be caused by geological layers

BingMag.com The signs of liquid water on Mars are probably caused by something else

According to the new findings of the researchers, the reflections on the surface of Mars, which were previously only considered as the presence of liquid water, may be caused by geological layers

"Dan Lalich" (Dan Lalich), the research partner of this article from Cornell University, which was published in the journal "Nature Astronomy", said about this finding: "On Earth, bright reflections Even lakes buried under ice like Lake Vostok are often a sign of liquid water. But on Mars, the prevailing opinion was that it would have to be very cold for similar lakes to form." Lalich performed simulations with four materials including atmosphere, water ice, carbon dioxide (CO2) ice and basalt and attributed a permeability property to each layer. Transmittance is an intrinsic property of matter that describes the rate at which electromagnetic radiation passes through it.

This simulation with three layers, two layers of CO2 separated by a layer of dusty ice, produced reflections that The size of the actual observations from Mars was clear.

Lalich said of the results: "I used layers of CO2 embedded in water ice, because we know that this material is abundant near the surface of the Martian ice cap. . However, I could also use layers of rock or even water ice, especially the dusty variety, and get similar results. The point of this article is that the type of composition of the base layers is less important than the thickness and separation of the layers." Modeling showed that the thickness of the layers and their distance have a greater effect on the reflection power than the composition of the layers. While no stratigraphic process simplified in the paper can explain all observations of reflective surfaces, the researchers note, "we have shown that bright reflections can be produced without the need for liquid water."

Lalich explained in this context: "Finding out what is not liquid water on Mars is important because the risk of identifying liquid water is very high." If there is liquid water, maybe there is life, or maybe we can use it for future human missions to Mars.

The presence of liquid water in this region could also have important implications for the age of the cap Polaris, the internal heating of Mars and how the planet's climate has evolved in its recent geological history, and Lalich does not completely rule it out. It doesn't rule out the possibility of liquid water there. We just think that the layer-interference hypothesis is more consistent with other observations. "I'm not sure anything other than drilling in the area can prove either possibility." Dad

Cover photo: South Pole of Mars
Credit: ESA/DLR/Fu Berlin

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