Categories: Sci/Tech

Scientists Find Large Ice Cliffs on Mars, Possible Source of Water for Future Missions

The discovery is greatly beneficial for future missions to the Red Planet.

A group of scientists recently announced their discovery of huge deposits of water ice near the surface of Mars. This discovery could forever change all future explorations of the Red Planet.

The findings were published in the journal Science. The research was led by Colin Dundas from the US Geological Survey in Arizona.

The discovery was made using the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Source: Dundas et al/Science

The group found eight mid-latitude locations where erosions had occurred and large cross-sections of ice had been exposed. In some of the locations, the experts estimated ice measuring 100 meters (330 feet) thick, starting only about one or two meters (3.3 to 6.6 feet) below the surface. The ice also appeared to be layered, which means scientists might be able to study the different geological periods of the planet. According to the study:

“The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice. We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate.”

Although scientists already knew water ice exists on Mars, this new research reveals that the water ice can be extremely accessible.

Source: Pixabay

This means future exploration missions, like the European ExoMars rover in early 2021, may be able to further explore the ice sheets and their history, as well as draw water to use as a consumable resource (or even as fuel) from the iced regions.

The sheets discovered were reportedly steeply angled, which suggests the ice is strong. The lack of craters could mean the sheets are young, estimated at about a million years old.

The group also believes erosion is occurring and the ice retreats by a few millimeters each summer.

Source: Pixabay

So far, the HiRISE instrument has only been able to image three percent of the surface, but more discoveries are expected by scientists. They wrote:

“This ice… is expected to preserve a record of climate history, influences the planet’s habitability, and may be a potential resource for future exploration.”

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

March 14th Holiday – Pi Day or Something Else?

Table of Contents: Introduction: The Significance of the March 14th Holiday The Mathematical Marvel: Unraveling…

November 1, 2023

Mystery Of Missing Pages

Who made them disappear? What was the reason? Where did they go? Why? Gather round,…

July 26, 2023

Bees Kill Penguins by Stinging Them in the Eyes

Swarm of bees stings the eyes of penguins in Cape town 60 penguins died from…

November 16, 2021

2000 Kilogram Sunfish Caught Off North African Coast

A massive ocean sunfish measuring 2,000 kilograms was caught on North African Coast It is named Mola alexandrini or…

November 16, 2021

Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards

A businessman in Georgia utilized the Covid-19 relief to buy a limited edition Charizard Pokemon card He committed…

November 8, 2021

Florida Man Catches and “Recycles” Alligator in Driveway

Man captures an alligator in his neighbor's yard in FloridaHe uses a trash can to…

November 1, 2021

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.