More water found beneath Mars' South Pole

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USQ researchers were part of an international team to find more water on Mars.
Artist's impression of Mars Express. The background is based on an actual image of Mars taken by the spacecraft's high resolution stereo camera. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mars ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

Artist's impression of Mars Express. The background is based on an actual image of Mars taken by the spacecraft's high resolution stereo camera. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mars ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

RESEARCHERS from the University of Southern Queensland were part of an international team that have found evidence of a patchwork of salty lakes below the surface of Mars.

It is the first water found on the Red Planet since 2018 when a lake was discovered beneath the Martian south polar ice cap.

USQ joined an international team for the new study, examining radar data from MARSIS, a scientific instrument on board the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft.

Their findings, published today in the journal Nature Astronomy, point to the existence of multiple ponds of hypersaline water.

Co-lead author Sebastian Lauro from Roma Tre University in Italy said the team borrowed a methodology commonly used in radar sounder investigations of subglacial lakes in Antarctica, Canada and Greenland, adapting the method to analyse old and new MARSIS data.

"The interpretation that best reconciles all the available evidence is that the high intensity reflections (from Mars) are coming from extended pools of liquid…
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