Scientists have pinpointed the area to search for life on Mars

24.03.2005

24.03.2005


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Staff at the Open University in Milton Keynes analyzed images of the surface of Mars, made orbiter Mars Express, and found that just under the surface of the Red Planet is frozen sea. The size of this formation is approximately equal the North Sea on Earth.

Scientists suggest that the sea was formed in the last few million years under the impact of volcanic eruptions or tectonic activity. Another study showed that a powerful eruption that occurred about 350 million years ago created the grooves on the side of a volcano dome of Hecate (Hecates Tholus), while those in the recesses in the last five million years formed deposits of ice.

All of this points to the fact that Mars is still geologically active planet, and that, according to most scholars, is one of the most important factors for the development and continued existence of biological life that requires a source of energy.

Ice deposits found at the tropical and equatorial latitudes, and this suggests that the surface of Mars today is not stable. The glaciers were formed in a very different climate and survived only because of the sun hides them multimeter layer of dust. If this is true, it means the climate of Mars has changed in just the past few million years.

On the underground glaciers on equatorial latitudes, scientists guessed long ago. And now it has become clear that, under the Champs lowlands, ranging in five degrees of latitude north of the Martian equator, lies a fairly large underground sea. It has dimensions of approximately 800 by 900 km and a depth of about 45 m

Putative source of water became deep fissures on the surface of Mars, known as channels Cerberus razomknuvshiesya about 5 million years ago, and released water in this tank. On the surface of this region distinguishable marks pack (long-term drift) of ice formed on the surface of water.

Scientists believe that the same water emissions could be everywhere, so that under the surface of the red planet there is a vast body of water, including possibly a liquid. The oldest tanks — aged millions of years — may well contain complex biological organisms. Similarly as frozen "Champs sea" may be as fossils and frozen organisms.

In 2011, NASA and ESA are planning to land on Mars new devices that will have, among other things, to try to get into this frozen sea. It is reported Kompyulenta.

22.03.2005

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