The European Space Agency explains mysterious blue lagoon on Mars’ surface after recent footage released by NASA indicates that there could be water on the Red Planet. ESA on the other hand, has released a recent declaration stating that the mysterious blue lagoons residing on Mars’ surface are in fact, optical illusions.
Even though great part of Mars’ territory has been subject to numerous tests and studies as NASA is now planning its 2020 mission on the Red Planet, there are still many aspects that scientists need to uncover. Recent images have fueled scientists’ hopes that Mars might feature water-covered areas, but officials at the European Space Agency were quick to contradict them saying that the photos are deceiving.
Based on their previous analyses, the soil of Mars is known to be shaped by the powerful winds circulating the atmosphere of the Red Planet. Much like Earth’s surface, Mars has craters, hills and dunes that have stemmed from powerful winds and giant sand storms. Experts have estimated, so far that the most powerful winds of Mars can reach up to 60 mph (100 km/h).
Winds on Mars are considered to be the main responsible for the way planet looks nowadays. Surroundings have been eroded and even out until the celestial body has reached the shape and form we now know today.
The recently captured blue lagoons have triggered researchers’ interest as they suggest Mars could have water fountains. A closer analysis has revealed that the blue lagoons are in fact dark areas that appear blue due to the image scanning process. Moreover, the blue shade of the patches on Mars’ territory stands for dark dust that was collected in the respective valleys throughout the years.
Further data needs to be collected in order for scientists to precisely determine the substances and materials existing in the darker regions that were spotted by NASA’s telescopes. However, the team of experts believes these craters could contain volcanic, basalt-rich deposits, hence the bluish shade of the patches.
Most blue lagoons have formed around the so-called Arabia Terra region on Mars. Other reports related to Mars’ territory did not suggest that there could be other similar deposits on the Red Planet; therefore, scientists are now trying to find out the reasons behind Arabia Terra’s special formations. Most likely, the area is constantly affected by powerful winds, but there could be other factors leading to basalt deposits, as well.
ESA has also suggested that Arabia Terra might have been once hit by numerous asteroids and thus, craters appeared on the planet’s surface. Yet, other regions on Mars have been equally affected by asteroid attacks and these did not result in blue lagoon-like formations. Experts believe there could be more to discover on the matter.
Image Source: Daily Mail