MOSCOW, Sept 29: A new scientific study has put forward evidence of the presence of bodies of water under the surface of Mars, with these findings potentially offering crucial insights into whether there is life on the planet.
Roma Tre University scholars Sebastian Emanuel Lauro and Elena Pettinelli designed the study, the findings of which were published in the Nature Astronomy journal on Monday.
The authors of the study said that data from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) had confirmed the presence of a large lake under the surface of Mars, as argued in a 2018 study, as well as several other smaller bodies of water in the surrounding area.
“This is a complex system of water, not just a single pond,” Pettinelli told the Space.com portal. According to the researcher, the lakes may have been able to harbor life if they are the remnants of water that was previously on the surface of Mars.
In 2018, a study published in the Science journal argued that a 12-mile-wide lake of liquid water had been identified under Mars’s southern polar plain.
The MARSIS system is onboard the Mars Express spacecraft, which was sent by the European Space Agency to orbit the planet. The system sends radar pulses that are able to penetrate the surface of Mars.