May 3, 2021 18:22 GMT
The new findings could be useful for future human missions and scientific exploration of the red planet.
A new study published in the journal Icarus I found possible signs of glaciers and ice activity on the Mars Plain known as Arcadia Planitia, which are strikingly similar to ice currents within the Antarctic ice sheets.
According to Shannon Hibbard, a doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario in Canada who led the new research, the newly discovered flow characteristics are strange because they occur on flat terrain.
“There is a lot of evidence that it is an area rich in ice, but we don’t have any great topographic terrain going on where these jagged features are. They are on a fairly flat plain, so it was strange,” Hibbard said. Living Sciences.
His team studied observations from several different instruments, as well as photographs of the orbit and thermal data, in an effort to identify the meandering features of the lowland areas from the plain. “Ice currents are something that could be on the surface of Mars and could indicate more complex ice processes on Mars, which I think is really interesting,” said Hibbard.
If there is not very deep ice below the surface of the plain, astronauts on future Mars missions may have a source of water. Hibbard suggests that it “would be an interesting landing place not only because of the accessibility of water ice and the abundance of water ice, but also because of the scientific value”.
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