In what may be a monumental step towards finding life on Mars, astronomers say that they have spotted a large reservoir of liquid water beneath the surface of the Red Planet. The landmark discovery was made by a team of researchers at the Italian Space Agency who announced their findings at a press conference today. The proverbial 'lake,' which measures 12 miles long and at least three feet deep, is buried beneath a one-mile-thick layer of ice at the Martian south pole.
Astronomers were able to find the lake by using an instrument known as the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) which is part of the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Over the course of three years, researchers probed the south pole of the planet using the radar and were ultimately able to discern a unique area which bore an uncanny resemblance to subsurface lakes found here on Earth. Although scientists cautioned that the results of the study need to be confirmed, the team behind the study expressed certainty about their conclusions. "Water is there. We have no more doubt," declared one of the researchers at Wednesday's press conference.
More on this remarkable story at the Coast to Coast AM website.