Lifestyle

There's Water on Mars—Why That's Such an Important Discovery

It's the best sign to date that life may be possible on the red planet
IMAGE 20th Century Fox
Comments

Mars already has a lot going for it. You can brew beer up there. The mountainous terrain is gorgeous. It isn't rapidly succumbing to the ravages of man-made climate change. And now, Italian scientists have discovered a lake filled with liquid water hiding underneath ice caps on the Martian south pole. That means there may be life.

The scientists who search for life beyond our planet first look for water, because you can't have organisms without it. On Mars, NASA discovered signs of flowing water back in 2015, but those amounted to little more than damp spots. NASA's Curiosity rover has explored lake beds that held water long ago, before Mars' atmosphere thinned, cooling the planet. There is also plenty of water frozen at the red planet's poles.

But Italian scientists, working on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission, found a liquid pool that stretches 12 miles wide. The measurements were taken using radar, and if they're correct, this is a huge deal.

"It is liquid, and it’s salty, and it’s in contact with rocks," Enrico Flamini, the former chief scientist of the Italian Space Agency who oversaw the research, said of the Mars lake during a press conference, per The New York Times. "There are all the ingredients for thinking that life can be there, or can be maintained there if life once existed on Mars."

We haven't discovered alien lifeforms quite yet. But now we know a good place to start looking for them. Cheers to science for giving us something cool to think about.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Sarah Rense
View Other Articles From Sarah
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
From dealing Yu-Gi-Oh cards and selling clothes, Gino Aldeguer Roque IV is now behind the country’s first student-versus-student, MMA-style tournament
 
Share
The Confidence Index also saw its biggest quarter-on-quarter drop since the survey started.
 
Share
But the difference won’t make your connection lightning fast.
 
Share
We bought items from the country's top online shopping sites to find out.
 
Share
There's so much to learn from the production cycle of a Gouache brand bag.
 
Share
The director also confirms the five-part miniseries that will follow the film.
 
Share
Kevin Hart is not the victim of his own controversy
 
Share
Columbia recreated the parka worn while filming The Empire Strikes Back, and Mark Hamill signed a few of them.
 
Share
In all, 170,695 Filipinos applied for Shengen visas last year.
 
Share
Giese also gives tips for people who want to adopt a rescue animal.
 
Share
Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige star in this Netflix version of the Dark Horse Comics series.
 
Share
Surf and turf at these adjacent restaurants in Pasig.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us