Ancient remnants of ice found near the Martian equator
An international team of scientists from the SETI Institute, the Mars Institute, and the University of Maryland has discovered remnants of ancient ice near the Martian equator.
Phys.org notes that the research team presented the results of their work at the 54th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).
Researchers have discovered remnants of ancient ice at the eastern end, which is called the “Night Labyrinth”, and its coordinates are 7 degrees 33 minutes south latitude and 93 degrees 14 minutes west longitude.
According to the researchers, this ice is not the only pale-colored deposit in the area and is widely known as a light-colored sulfate salt structure. However, there are other signs of ice in this region, such as cracks and lines. The length of this ice is estimated at six kilometers, its width is about four kilometers, and its thickness is 1.3 to 1.7 kilometers.
Near this area, the researchers found materials of volcanic origin. They believe that the sulfate salts formed as a result of a chemical reaction that occurred in volcanic ash, pumice, and hot lava particles. With the passage of time and as a consequence of the influence of erosion and erosion of volcanic rocks, a layer of sulfates appeared in the form of ice.
A combination of factors indicates that these deposits are presumed to be recent by geological standards and may date back to the Amazon period, which began 2-3 billion years ago and continues to the present day. This indicates that water was present on the planet until not long ago. This is important for understanding whether the planet was habitable in the past and will be in the future.