Despite its frigid temperatures, Mars might be able to host lakes of water on its surface today, a new study suggests.
Although extremely small amounts of water would quickly evaporate in Mars' low-pressure atmosphere, water from sources such as aquifers could last long enough to pool, with larger pools remaining liquid for at least a year, researchers said.
"Nobody's doubting that liquid water was on Marsat some point," Jules Goldspiel, of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, told Space.com. "The question I was interested in is, given today's conditions, which are hostile to liquid water, could you [still] get it."
He created a simulation to determine if liquid water could puddle and form pools to remain liquid today.
"You could get it for a little while, potentially," said Goldspiel, who presented his results Nov. 12 at the 47th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland.