Italian scientists have discovered a network of salt lakes under the glaciers at the southern pole of Mars, reports the magazine Nature Astronomy.
The discovery was made by astronomers based on data from the orbital probe Mars Express, obtained in the period from 2010 to 2019.
According to researchers, the network consists of four reservoirs, the largest of which is located in the center of the system and has a width of 30 kilometers. The lakes are located at a depth of one and a half kilometers.
“We assume that they are filled with thick brine from perchlorates, which presumably arise periodically in the circumpolar regions of the planet,” – said in a statement of experts.
The scientists note that the presence of liquid water increases the probability of microbial life on Mars or under its surface, but further research is needed to confirm the hypothesis.