A recent study suggests that clay minerals are the reason earth’s radars are reflecting off the south pole of Mars. Originally hypothesized to be liquid water, researchers at Toronto’s York University have identified common types of clay there. Specifically, Smectites can be the explanation for radar signals bouncing, which takes away the hope that the red planet has lakes on it.
Isaac Smith the lead researcher and York University assistant professor said “Since being first reported as bodies of water, the scientific community has shown skepticism about the lake hypothesis and recent publications questioned if it was even possible to have liquid water,”
The findings can be found in a peer-reviewed scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters, published on Thursday. In 2018, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter found evidence of lakes buried deep below the ice cap on its south pole. This led to the possibility of a potentially habitable environment on Mars.
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