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Enough ice on Mars to flood the entire planet

Enough ice on Mars to flood the entire planet

© NASA/ESA, J. Bell (Cornell University) and M. Wolf (SSI)

Evidence continues to grow that… Mars huge Water ice deposits Nap – drowsiness. The researchers collected 15 years of data from the European Space Agency's probe Mars Express With new ones Radar analysis Collection Medusa fossils. At the time, researchers suspected that layers of ice up to 2.5 kilometers thick existed beneath the dust. Now new analysis shows it could be much larger.

Collection Medusa Fossils (MFF) It consists of several trains in the form of winds and is located at the transition point between the high and low plains of Mars near Mars equator. This formation may be the largest single source of dust on the Red Planet, as well as one of its most widespread deposits.

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The (colored) sediments extend over several hundred kilometers. Above that there is a layer of dust up to 600 meters thick.

The researchers discovered during the initial examination of the formation 2007 Huge deposits. There's one above it 300 to 600 metres Depth A layer of dust. While some data suggests the presence of ice, scientists have been unable to rule out that it is simply deposits of dust, volcanic ash or sediment.

Radar data indicates the presence of ice

When the area is re-examined with the help of the latest Radar recordings On the other hand, scientists from Mars Express found that the sediments were sometimes even 3.7 km thick And not 2.5 kilometers as previously thought. On the other hand, there were the recordings Less dense Than you would expect with dust.

“Given the depth, if the MFF was just a huge pile of dust, we would expect it to compress under its own weight,” he said. Andrea Cicchetti From the National Institute of Astrophysics in Italy In the current situation. Even when modeling with ice-free materials, formation properties are not revealed.

The white line shows where events occurred. The chart shows what size it should be

If the ice mass melted, it could fill the entire Red Sea, or Mars, with one of them 1.5 to 2.7 metres Cover it with a deep layer of water. While Mars nowadays is more like… Dry planet According to the European Space Agency, its surface provides sufficient evidence that water was once abundant. Massive glacial deposits near the equator, such as those suspected of formation, must have been present in one place previous climatic era Originated. It is said that this would not be possible under the current climate of the planet.

Water ice is essential for Mars missions

Hidden ice may be for the future Mars missions Note: According to the European Space Agency, it needs water and should land near the equator, far from the planet's polar ice caps or glaciers. “Unfortunately, the MYF deposits are covered in hundreds of meters of dust, making them inaccessible for at least the next few decades,” he says. Colin Wilson From the European Space Agency. But each piece of ice helps provide a better picture of where water flowed on Mars and where it can be found today.

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