Ancient polar ice sheets buried under the planet’s surface — which could turn out to be one of the largest water reservoirs on Mars was discovered by the scientist at Univesity of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona
Mars has polar caps, both in the north and south. The two caps incorporate a permanent cap visible around the year and a temporary cap that shows up in winter and disappears in summer. In the north, the permanent cap is water ice; while in the south the permanent cap is mostly carbon dioxide ice.
The revelation is critical for further investigation as well as studying the historical backdrop of Mars and its atmosphere cycles. Creation of these layers could additionally reveal insight into the history of Mars and if it had point had great conditions to help life.
Utilizing information from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shallow Radar (SHARAD), researchers discovered proof of a large number of years old layers of ice and sand covered underneath the surface at the north pole. The depth of the ice is such an extent that on the off chance that it melts, it would cover the planet with water very nearly 5 feet down.
lead author Stefano Nerozzi, a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) stated,” “We didn’t expect to find this much water ice here. That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps, understanding how much water was available globally versus what’s trapped in the poles is important if you’re going to have liquid water on Mars.
“You can have all the right conditions for life, but if most of the water is locked up at the poles, then it becomes difficult to have sufficient amounts of liquid water near the equator.” Added Nerozzi
Jack Holt, co-author and professor at the University of Arizona, quoted, “Surprisingly, the total volume of water locked up in these buried polar deposits is roughly the same as all the water ice known to exist in glaciers and buried ice layers at lower latitudes on Mars, and they are approximately the same age”.
At regular intervals for every 50,000 years, Mars tilts towards the sun and the ice tops nearly liquefy away. The planet at that point gradually tilts back up, with the equator confronting the sun. Right now, the ice caps can develop again. Recently research states that Mars was the house of plenty of liquid water around 3.6 billion years ago. In this backdrop, the latest discoveries help confirm the wet past of the red planet.