Under the surface of Mars may be enough oxygen for life

The ability to find life on Mars has troubled scientists for many years, and recent discoveries only increased the excitement on the subject, we find, at last, life on the red planet or not. And now, a new study in Nature Geoscience shows that Mars may be enough oxygen to support life beneath the surface. The team, headed by Vlada Stamenković from the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA (JPL) have made two interesting discoveries. We know that on Mars may be underground lakes with salt water; in particular, one of these may be under the Martian polar ice cap.

If these lakes do exist, they can be a lot of potential of oxygen.

Where on Mars can hide life?

In 2016, the Curiosity Rover found that Mars could once have an oxygen-rich atmosphere, but the loss of its magnetic field meant that most of the oxygen on the surface has evaporated. But in the rocks of the planet’s oxygen still remained, and then it may be enough to sustain life beneath the surface, where it does not go away so quickly.

Considering both open, the JPL team has studied how much oxygen can be contained in subsurface salt lakes and whether it will be for life. It turned out that enough, particularly in the polar regions, because the reduced temperature in these regions means that oxygen is easier to get into these salt lakes.

In this study, there are many unknown — in the end, the existence of these salt lakes has not been proved. But this will be the next step to show how it could exist life on the red planet, based on what we know about Mars. Moreover, it will also show how there might be life on other planets without photosynthesis.

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