The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter has uncovered signs that Mars once had a vast network of waterways, including a planet-spanning ocean in its northern hemisphere, and an extensive network of rivers that carved majestic canyons through the ancient Martian landscape. Using its Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface
Researchers working with the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft have found strong evidence for a sub-glacial lake of liquid water under Mars’ southern polar ice cap.
A significant layer of water ice has been spotted across the mid latitudes of Mars, located just a few feet below the planet’s surface. This new finding adds a new layer to the geological history of the Red Planet, and also may offer a useful source of water for future human expeditions sent there.
New computer models of Mars’ atmosphere are indicating that the Red Planet may experience rapidly-falling snowstorms at night, possibly sprinkling the surface below with a light layer of snow. It was previously assumed that snow that fell on Mars did so slowly, taking hours to drop a single mile, and typically evaporating before it reached the surface. But the new simulations show that ice crystals forming at night may only take about five to ten minutes to fall the same distance, explaining why NASA’s Phoenix lander observed a dusting of snow shortly after touchdown in 2008.