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ExoMars Discovers the Grand Canyon of Mars

Significant levels of water have been Discovers at the core of Mars’ magnificent canyon system, Valles Marineris, by the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The water was Discovers beneath Mars’ surface by the Trace Gas Orbiter’s (TGO) FREND instrument, which was mapping hydrogen – a measure of water content – in the uppermost metre of the planet’s soil. While there is water on Mars, it is mostly found as ice in the planet’s freezing polar regions.

Near the equator, water ice is not found exposed at the surface because the temperatures are too cold for exposed water ice to be stable. At lower latitudes of Mars, missions such as the European Space Agency’s Mars Express have searched for near-surface water – as ice covering dust grains in the soil or locked up in minerals – and found small amounts.

ExoMars Discovers the Grand Canyon of MarsThe water-rich region is roughly the size of the Netherlands, and it coincides with the deep valleys of Candor Chaos, which are part of a canyon system that we’re considering for our search for water on Mars. Igor and colleagues looked examined FREND data from May 2018 to February 2021, which used neutron detection rather than light to estimate the hydrogen concentration of Mars’ soil.

Water in the form of ice or water chemically linked to other minerals in the soil could be present. Other Discovers, on the other hand, suggest that minerals found in this region of Mars often contain only a few percent water, far less than the latest findings suggest. Due to the temperature and pressure conditions near the equator, water ice frequently evaporates in this region of Mars.

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