What would we do without water? The colorless and odorless substance is crucial for all life forms as we know them. Life on Earth wouldn’t be possible without the presence of water. That’s why astronomers are so eager to detect water on other planets as soon as they find the objects. Where there’s water, there also should be life.
It can be reckoned as an advantage that water exists in three forms. Whether we’re talking about solid, liquid, or gas, water can easily take all of these forms.
Finding water on Mars is not something new at all. In December 2006, NASA provided images showing the presence of liquid water on the Red Planet. But even in 2021, some circumstances that water is found in on our neighboring planet are indeed surprising.
Mars’ Grand Canyon reveals the unexpected presence of water
The European Space Agency reveals that evidence of significant amounts of water had been found by scientists in the Valles Marineris canyon system. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has been used for the discovery, and astronomers from the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos are in charge of it.
While mapping hydrogen levels in the Martian soil, an unusual amount of the element was detected in one of the regions of the Valles Marineris canyon. This hints at the presence of water in the near-surface material.
Igor Mitrofanov, the lead author of the study and a member of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, declared in an ESA statement:
With TGO we can look down to one meter below this dusty layer and see what’s really going on below Mars’ surface — and, crucially, locate water-rich ‘oases’ that couldn’t be detected with previous instruments.
The new study was published in the journal Icarus.