This week, the European Space Agency announced that radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars.
Professor Ian Hawes, University of Waikato. Exobiology Research in Antarctica 2010
Ian Hawes, Professor at Waikato University commented on the findings:
We have known for some time that liquid water was once plentiful on the surface of Mars, at the time that life was first emerging on Earth. At that time, the environment may have been suitable on Mars for earth-like life to have evolved. While we have a limited understanding of the conditions under which life can evolve – we still barely understand this process on our own planet – we think that the presence of liquid water is likely essential.
At the moment conditions on the surface of Mars are hostile to earth-like life, it is dry, cold and exposed to intense solar radiation. But if there are water-rich habitats on the planet to where life could have retreated, then this is where we might expect to find it.
It seems reasonable that one place where there could be water will be ...