Mars has endured a rough run recently thanks to fairly sensationalized Elon Musk-related headlines and Jared Leto's music. Now, with the announcement of a "huge reservoir of liquid water," the Red Planet is back on its bullshit.
The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter spotted the reservoir, which is buried approximately 1 mile beneath ice near the planet's south pole, per a Guardian report. For those sadly and annoyingly not up on Mars-related happenings, this is notable in that it potentially marks the first time such a body of liquid water has been seen.
Liquid water hanging out beneath the planet's surface, which is too hot for it to survive, has been a suspected reality for years. "This subsurface anomaly on Mars has radar properties matching water or water-rich sediments," said Roberto Orosei, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding [MARSIS] experiment's principal investigator and lead author of a new Science-published paper on the topic. "This is just one small study area; it is an exciting prospect to think there could be more of these underground pockets of water elsewhere, yet to be discovered." Researchers have also likened the discovery to Antarctica's Lake Vostok.
Theoretically, this water could have allowed microbes that have evolved to thrive in saltier conditions a chance at existence, though Orosei believes any potential Martian life would have "not a very pleasant" experience.