Significant Water Discovered in Martian Grand Canyon

The fabled canals of Mars were disproven quite some time ago, at least in the way that early observers imagined them. But there are canyons on Mars. And there is water on Mars. Maybe there’s a lot of water on Mars Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:

The water is hidden beneath the Martian surface and was discovered by the Trace Gas Orbiter, which is the first stage of the joint ESA-Roscosmos mission ExoMars. The discovery was made by the orbiter’s FREND instrument (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector), which maps the hydrogen content of Martian soil. When the soil is struck by high-energy cosmic rays, it emits neutrons, with dry soil emitting more neutrons than wet soil. This allows scientists to get a sense of the water content of soil that lies just below the surface.

“FREND revealed an area with an unusually large amount of hydrogen in the colossal Valles Marineris canyon system: assuming the hydrogen we see is bound into water molecules, as much as 40 percent of the near-surface material in this region appears to be water,” said lead investigator Igor Mitrofanov of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the press release.

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