The surface of Mars is hiding a gigantic ice lake containing about as much water as Lake Superior here on Earth.
Experts at NASA used the ground-penetrating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to peer beneath “a region of cracked and pitted plains,” on Mars.
The ice lake is roughly six times larger than Wales.
“The deposit ranges in thickness from about 80 metres to about 170 metres, with a composition that’s 50-85 per cent water ice, mixed with dust or larger rocky particles,” NASA announced in a statement .
NASA said that the new discovery represented less than one per cent of all known water ice on Mars.
The agency has been quick to allay the expectations of finding alien life but admits it doesn’t know for certain.
"This deposit probably formed as snowfall accumulating into an ice sheet mixed with dust during a period in Mars history when the planet's axis was more tilted than it is today," said Cassie Stuurman of the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas, Austin.
• It’s the fourth planet from the Sun
• The second-smallest planet in the solar system
• Radius: 3,390 km
• Length of day: 1d 0h 40m
• Orbital period: 687 days