The European Space Agency’s ExoMars orbiter has found evidence of a huge deposit of water underneath the Valles Marineris Martian canyon system.
Scientists made the discovery after they assessed data recorded with the Trace Gas Orbiter’s (TGO) Fine-Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector (Frend) instrument.
According to the data, an area in the canyon had an unusually large amount of hydrogen at a site called Candor Chaos, located near the heart of the massive canyon system dubbed Valles Marineris.
“We found a central part of Valles Marineris to be packed full of water — far more water than we expected,” Alexey Malakhov, a senior scientist at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a co-author of the new paper, said in an ESA statement.
“This is very much like Earth’s permafrost regions, where water ice permanently persists under dry soil because of the constant low temperatures,” added Marineris.
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