As enlightening as this development is, it still seems like we’re not much closer – if we’re any closer at all – to determining if any life actually exists on Mars.

Scientists discover 12-mile-long lake under the surface of Mars

By —— Bio and Archives--July 25, 2018

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Scientists discover 12-mile-long lake under the surface of MarsI’m not sure this means we’ll soon be making contact with Uncle Martin or Gazoo, you dum dums.

There may not be any life on Mars at all, and Rob is the big Bowie fan so it feels like he should have written this. But water is a necessity for any type of life – plant or animal – and until now we didn’t know for sure that there was any water at all on Mars.


Apparently now we do:

For the first time, scientists have detected a lake of salty water under the Martian ice, a study released Wednesday said. The lake is about a mile under the surface and stretches 12 miles across, they say.

The presence of liquid water under the Martian polar ice caps has long been suspected but not seen, until now, the study said.

The discovery raises the possibility of finding life on the red planet. “Without water, no form of life as we know it could exist,” said Anja Diez of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Astronomers used radar data from the orbiting European spacecraft “Mars Express” to find the water. They spent at least two years checking over the data to make sure they’d detected water, not ice or another substance.

I’m going to give these scientists the benefit of the doubt that this really is water based on their methods of checking it. It’s not the same thing as the spacecraft sending back photos of a lake, of course, but it’s entirely plausible that there could be underground water. It’s strange, though, if there water is contained entirely under the surface and at no point does it rise in the form of a river, lake or pond. Water on Earth is contained in river basins that eventually rises to the surface and flows into larger bodies of water. Every planet is different, I suppose, but what is it about Mars that keeps the water under the surface all the time, if indeed that is how it works.

Also, if there’s water, does that mean there’s evaporation and precipitation? Maybe it never evaporates if it never surfaces, but how did it get there in the first place? Has it always been there since the planet was formed? Did the surface change and cover it up? (And what would happen if we were ever to go there and dig a well to access it? Would it be like our water? Heavier? Made of different chemical compositions?)

Granted, any life that depends on water that’s strictly underground would be a different kind of life, probably pretty simple organisms and maybe some vegetation – although to date we’ve never even seen any evidence of that.

As enlightening as this development is, it still seems like we’re not much closer – if we’re any closer at all – to determining if any life actually exists on Mars. We just know that one necessary factor is indeed present. Chances are we won’t really answer that question definitively until we show up on the planet ourselves, or until someone or something very surprising shows up on one of these video feeds we’re getting.


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