Scientists Have Discovered Massive Ice Sheets on Mars

An aerial view of an ice deposit discovered on Mars marked in blue

Scientists Have Discovered Massive Ice Sheets on Mars

A team of scientists, led by Colin Dundas, a geologist at the US Geological Survey, analyzed data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), specifically looking at eight areas where erosion occurred.

Researchers previously believed that Martian surface might have absorbed water on the Red Planet.

"It was surprising to find ice exposed at the surface at these places".

'You can go out with a bucket and shovel and just collect as much water as you need. I think it's sort of a game-changer.

The ice sheets deposits were found at the geological formations with latitudes of around 55 degrees to 58 degrees located in the southern and northern hemisphere.

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However, some of it stayed behind, transforming into ice that settled under the rocky surface.

The cliffs are all near the poles, which slip into a frigid darkness during the Martian winter and would not be a suitable site for a long-term human camp.

The remarkable ice cliffs appear to contain distinct layers, which could preserve a record of Mars' past climate, according to the. Radio scans by MRO suggest existence of thick, buried ice along the planet's middle latitudes.

In 2016, a NASA study said ice may yield more water per scoop than minerals, which means the H20 could be more hard to access.

Because the ice is only visible where surface soil has been removed, Dundas et al. say it is likely that ice near the surface is even more extensive than detected in this study. These images helped Colin Dundas, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, and team discover eight steep cliffs of what appears to be nearly pure ice.

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There's a lot of mystery surrounding Mars, but scientists have recently made a groundbreaking discovery: ice.

'What we've seen here are cross-sections through the ice that give us a 3-D view with more detail than ever before'.

A check of the surface temperature using Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera helped researchers determine they're not seeing just thin frost covering the ground.

Eight scarps, with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, reveal new information about the internal layered structure of previously detected underground ice sheets in Mars' middle latitudes, the U.S. space agency said. When does ice accumulate?

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