Water found on Mars — where there shouldn't be any

Scientists have taken a closer look at data from NASA's Mars Odyssey probe, revealing substantial amounts of water in the form of ice buried beneath the Martian surface around the planet's equator. Given what we know about the Red Planet's climate, there shouldn't be any there. The team of scientists, led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.A., reevaluated previous measurements from the probe's neutron spectrometer tool used to gauge the presence of hydrogen close to the surface of Mars. The probe orbits the planet at an altitude of 800 km (2,400 miles), preventing it from measuring water directly, so instead it looks for hydrogen, a reliable proxy for water, and led Odyssey to discover ice back in 2002, but was largely restricted to Mars' polar regions. This makes sense, because scientists think that ice around the equator can't persist for long periods buried in the soil, as thermal conditions mean it should sublimate into the atmosphere. One possibility, the team thinks, is that if the planet's current inclination was once tilted by 20 degrees a few million years ago, it might have been possible for ice in polar regions to sublimate, before eventually redistributing to found lower latitudes over time. To find out more check out Water ice found near Mars’s equator could entice colonists and life-seekers.