A recent discovery was revealed last month by scientists after making an interesting discovery. It seems that under the Canadian Arctic, there is are two extremely salty lakes, buried under 700 meters of ice. What does this discovery have to do with extraterrestrial life?
Well, the conditions in those lakes are similar to those that are found on Mars or in Europa (Jupiter’s moon).
Mark Skidmore is one of the authors of the study and explained in an interview about their findings. He said that the water in the lakes has a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius and has a 4 to 5 times more salinity than the seawater. The two lakes have been buried and isolated from the sun and the environment for almost 120,000 years.
Searching For Alien Life Starts Here
According to Science Daily, subglacial lakes are a good place to start researching for possible extraterrestrial life and these two extreme salty lakes are promising in future research.
Study co-author and researcher Jamin Greenbaum explains why the lakes are similar to the ones on Europa.
“We think that, in places like [Europa], there are water bodies that are very salty. We think that these lakes in Canada could be direct analogs, or very similar, to what we expect to find on Europa.”
These findings are great for the upcoming missions that NASA prepared. They intend to learn more about Jupiter’s moon, and these lakes are a great start to get familiar with the features.
Skidmore hopes to receive the funding to get access to the lake water. Scientists don’t know yet if the water houses microbial forms of life, but once they get access to the water, they will soon find out. The team of scientists will also work with the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to get a “more detailed airborne geophysical survey” to complete the information they need on the lakes and their particular features.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.