Professor Roberto Orosei at the University of Bologna and his team, detected a lake of liquid water 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) wide about 1.5 kilometers (.9 miles) below the surface of Mars, at the southern ice cap in the region of Planum Australe.
An artistic impression of Mars Express probing the Martian southern pole. Credit: USGS Astrogeology Science Center, Arizona State University, ESA, INAF – Graphic rendering by Davide Coero Borga
Geronimo Villanueva, a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said:
“We’ve been searching for bodies of liquid water on Mars for a long time, so this is definitely exciting.”
Study co-author Elena Pettinelli, a geophysicist at Roma Tre University in Rome, explains:
“We can’t see the bottom of this body. It’s two or three meters deep at least.
You can find bacteria in what is seen in Antarctica, so there may be a good possibility that what we found on Mars is a good environment for the preservation of microbial life. Martian life could have survived.”