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Want to find life on Mars? Look deep underground

17 Dec 2020, 11:26 UTC
Want to find life on Mars? Look deep underground
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Cutaway illustration depicting subsurface lakes on Mars. Research suggests these underground lakes, or aquifers – formed by melting ice deep below the surface – would have been the best places for life to exist on a planet as cold as Mars. They might also help explain conflicting scenarios of a warm, wet early Mars versus the colder Mars we see today. Image via ESA/ Medialab.
If there was ever life on Mars, where would it be? What would be the best place to look for evidence of Martian life, whether that’s ancient fossilized life or still-living microbes? As many scientists have suggested, the answer may be underground, where conditions are warmer and may be wetter. Now, a new study – announced by Rutgers University in New Jersey on December 2, 2020 – expands on that idea. It suggests the region most likely to hold such evidence is several miles below Mars’ surface, where geothermal heat (geothermal energy) could have melted subsurface ice sheets.
The new peer-reviewed paper was published in Science Advances on December 2, 2020.
From the paper:
In explaining extensive evidence for past liquid water, the debate on whether Mars was primarily warm and wet or cold and ...

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