A recent revelation from the European Space Agency (ESA) could overturn our understanding of Mars. According to data from the Mars Express orbiter, the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) on Mars is believed to contain enough ice to create an ocean 5 to 8.8 feet deep across the entire planet, should this ice melt. This discovery challenges the previous belief that the MFF was predominantly composed of volcanic ash.
Led by Tom Watters, the research team suggests that the MFF is primarily made of water ice, similar to the polar ice caps of Mars. This finding is particularly significant because the MFF is located near Mars' equator, a promising site for future exploration.
However, a challenge presents itself: this ice is buried under hundreds of feet of dust, complicating access for Mars explorers. This discovery opens an exciting chapter on the past climate of Mars and raises new, stimulating questions. As Colin Wilson from Mars Express points out, confirming the presence of water ice could transform our understanding of Mars' climate history and offer an exciting target for future exploration missions.