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Evidence for the Red Planet's watery past is prevalent across its surface in the form of vast dried-out river valley networks and big outflow channels clearly imaged by orbiting spacecraft. So the water boils there at a temperature of about zero degrees, i.e. nearly immediately after it turns from ice into liquid.

Mars is now cold, barren and dry but it used to be warm and wet. Scientists believe the water is kept in liquid form by a salty brine that Orosei and colleagues speculatively describe as a "sludge". For the first time, scientists have discovered a large, watery lake beneath an icecap on the Red Planet.

The close approach is also exciting, Boyle said, because of humankind's obsession with the red planet. The planet's magnificent ring system is also on full display and near its maximum tilt toward Earth, which was in 2017.

It's almost a mile below the surface and more than 12 miles wide.

Microbial life survives some of the harshest conditions on Earth, including within subglacial environments. 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.

He added that the discovery of liquid water stands to make a human trip to Mars more feasible. According to Marsis, the radar on the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express Orbiter that found the lake, it's about 12 miles wide.

Either way, the discovery greatly increases the chances of extraterrestrial life existing on Mars. MARSIS measures the echoes of the radio waves, which researchers would then be able to use to decode the structure of the subsurface.

These reflections "provide scientists with information about what lies beneath the surface".

The paper, authored by the Italian MARSIS team, outlines how a "bright spot" was detected in radar signals about 1 mile (about 1.5 kilometers) below the surface of the ice cap in the Planum Australe region. This is the point in which Earth is sandwiched directly in the middle of the sun and Mars.

While spacecraft now orbiting Mars are studying the storm's behavior at lower altitudes, other Hubble observations will allow astronomers to study changes in the higher atmosphere.

"This suggests that something unusual is going on here".

The cosmic coincidence which will see the 'God of War ' planet Mars shine in the sky during an eclipse has already got doomsday fans buzzing, but we're glad to report that it probably doesn't mean the apocalypse is nigh.