Mars Will Be The Closest To Earth In 15 Years

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Mars is now cold, barren and dry but it used to be warm and wet. And found on them periodically appearing streams of water. With Elon Musk's ambitious plans to send manned Missions to Mars and colonize it in coming decades, the new discovery is very important for exploring life on Mars and plan future human colonies and more ambitious expeditions for terraforming the red planet. Around the time of opposition, a planet is at its closest distance to Earth for a given year. Known as "opposition" because we see the planets rise in the east as the sun sets in the west this event gave astronomers a unique chance to capture detailed images of the planets, thanks to their proximity and full illumination from the sun.

If these and many other alluring attributes were created by vast channels of flowing water or static lakes slowly eroding away the bedrock, any lingering liquid stuff is long gone - on the surface at least.

Microbial life survives some of the harshest conditions on Earth, including within subglacial environments. These were hypothesized to be formed by flow of briny liquid water on Mars. Moreover, the presence of salts on Mars could further reduce the melting point of water and keep the water liquid even at below-freezing temperatures, Sciencedaily reported.

It has taken the persistence of scientists working with this subsurface-probing instrument to develop new techniques in order to collect as much high-resolution data as possible to confirm their exciting conclusion.

"Despite its glorious girth, northern observers will pay a price during this juicy Mars apparition", Sky & Telescope contributing editor Bob King said.

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Mars also has seasons, due in part to its 25-degree axial tilt, which is similar to Earth's 23.5-degree tilt.

Radio waves beamed down to the surface by Marsis penetrated through the ice and bounced back to the spacecraft. "It's probably not a very large lake", said Prof Roberto Orosei from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, who led the study."This really qualifies this as a body of water".

Among the 29 radar samplings, the scientists spotted a series of unusually strong reflections bearing a distinct electrical hallmark. The appearance of Mars can vary depending on its location relative to Earth in the solar system.

For a long time, scientists have been extremely interested in the red planet.

The importance of the discovery, if confirmed, can never be overestimated because liquid water is the source of life.

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