The latest development about red planet Mars made scientist and researchers all around the world pretty excited. The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) has taken high-resolution images of the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. The high-resolution camera fitted on the Reconnaissance Orbiter of NASA.
The ice sheets have been found beneath the surface of the planet.Also, it is predicted that beneath one of the large slope, we have one ice sheet that is almost 330 feet (100 meters) thick and has created a blue-black partition that is clearly visible in above picture.According to researchers, these ice sheets will be very beneficial for future exploration.
“We’ve found a new window into the ice for study, which we hope will be of interest to those interested in all aspects of ice on Mars and its history,” said Colin Dundas, a member of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center in Arizona and an author of a report published Thursday in the journal Science. He also added, “It is not news that Mars is icy. In 2001, the Mars Odyssey spacecraft arrived at the planet and began snooping for chemical signatures of ice. The craft’s gamma-ray spectrometer found telltale hydrogen, which indicated Mars had enormous amounts of ice. As much as a third of the Martian surface contains shallow ice. But remotely sensing elements such as hydrogen could not reveal the depth and makeup of the ice.
The newer Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapped the surface in greater detail. Dundas and his colleagues used its pictures to locate exposed ice in small craters, glaciers and ice sheets. “The high-resolution data has greatly improved our understanding of various ice-related landforms,”
Susan Conway, a planetary scientist at the University of Nantes in France, said These cliffs are “rare peeks into the subsurface of Mars, giving us access to an undisturbed slice through Mars’ ice in the mid-latitudes — a fantastic find!”
Open University’s Matt Balme, a planetary scientist in Britain who did not participate in this study, said the key findings were the colour images of a bluish tint. That indicates a sub-layer that is “somehow compositionally different” than the red dirt. It is unlikely that the frozen sheets are a mix of water and soil. “If the conclusions of the paper are correct,” he said, “you’re looking at something that’s almost pure ice.”
It is believed that the ice sheets have been formed over a period of thousands of years. The scarps exist along the planet’s middle latitudes, ruling out glaciers that migrated from the poles.“We considered the possibility that we were seeing surface frost,” Dundas said, “but the ice signatures persist through the summer.” The buried ice revealed itself after the structures became unstable and expanded. Those cliffs formed through a process called sublimation, in which exposed ice turned directly into water vapour. Boulders and dust that rested on the ice suddenly had their foundation vanish into the atmosphere. Also, watch stunning video of 110 crashing fireball into the Earth.
The sheets’ proximity to the surface makes them accessible, in theory, to robot explorers. “This subsurface ice could contain valuable records of the Martian climate, just like the Greenland and Antarctic ice cores,” Conway said.