The bright white area in this image was taken by Mars Express in Europe in December 2012 and shows the ice sheet covering the South Pole of Mars, made up of frozen water and frozen carbon dioxide. (Photo credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Bill Dunford)
There may be more liquid water under the South Pole of Mars than scientists thought, or there may be something they do not fully understand.
In 2018, researchers analyzed radar data collected by the European Mars Express spacecraft and announced that they had found evidence of a large underground lake in the Antarctic region of this red planet. Scientists report that the lake appears to be about 12 miles (19 kilometers) wide and is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) below the cool, dry surface.
The same core research team quickly followed up on this discovery, using the same Mars Express instrument Mars Advanced Radar for underground and ionospheric detection, or MARSIS for short – to study the subsurface in the vast area around the apparent lake. Scientists reported in a study last year that this work found evidence for three other underground lakes, each about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide.

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