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Scientists Confirm There's Water On Mars, And That's A Big Deal For Earth

Lab Manager / NASA

This isn't science fiction.

Scientists have actually found a huge subterranean lake of liquid water on Mars.

We knew that water used to reside on the Red Planet, since the planet's surface is covered in dried-out river valley networks, but we never knew water still exists on the Mars today.

This recent study published in the journal Science has put a decades-long debate to rest, and we all can't contain our excitement.

The Verge via ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

"There Could Be More"

The research team led by Roberto Orosei, a professor at the University of Bologna in Italy, has detected a lake sitting below the Red Planet's southern polar ice cap.

Researchers say it's in a "well-defined, 20-kilometer-wide (12.5 miles) zone."

The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument made this finding possible.

It used radar pulses to detect the existence of salt water on Mars, and it finally found something after two years of searching.

“I really have no other explanation,” Orosei said. "This is just one small study area; it is an exciting prospect to think there could be more of these underground pockets of water elsewhere, yet to be discovered."

Now that we know salt water is flowing beneath the surface of Mars, we all have a lot of questions.

What This Really Means

Where there's water, there's a huge possibility that there's life.  

There may not be little martians roaming around Mars right now, but there may be signs of small organisms as researchers further look into this new discovery.  

"This thrilling discovery is a highlight for planetary science and will contribute to our understanding of the evolution of Mars, the history of water on our neighbor planet and its habitability," Dmitri Titov, a member of the European Space Agency, said.

At the end of the day, it's nice to know our planet's neighbor shares some similarities to our own.

And while Mars's surface has been deemed "inhospitable to life" before, findings like this just go to show that there's no telling what the future holds.

Do you think there could be alien life on Mars?

So we haven't found alien life on Mars yet, but scientists say they've found a nearby alien planet that could host life. Click here to read more about the story!

[H/T: USA Today/ Fox News]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.