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ESA hopes the lake is a peek at an even bigger underground water system.

An artists' image of the planet Mars, with a large white arctic area situated at its South Pole.
Flickr/Kevin Gill

Mars has just revealed its latest secret: it’s been hiding a lake underneath its South pole.

A lake of water on another planet is always exciting because that means it might be home to extraterrestrial life.  Unfortunately, this lake is very salty and probably too cold for anything to be alive in the caverns a mile underground.  Mars had oceans like Earth millions of years ago, but they boiled away when the planet’s atmosphere thinned out.

Every discovery about Mars is exciting, as we continue to investigate our planetary neighbour. Were we to detect a fresh water system, we could potentially plan manned missions to the planet – and in the very far future, even create a new home for ourselves there.

Discussion Topics

What do you think is exciting about finding water on Mars?