Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Al Quran 21:30/31)
Scientists Discovered a Liquid Lake on Mars. Could That Mean Life?
It’s awfully hard to kill a planet—and Mars should know, because Mars ought to be dead by now. Long ago, perhaps 4.3 billion years back, the Red Planet was a place not unlike Earth. It had a thick atmosphere and abundant water, much of which might have been concentrated in a vast ocean in its northern hemisphere. All over the rest of the planet were lakes, smaller oceans and rivers.
But Mars’s interior soon cooled. That snuffed out its protective magnetic field, which in turn allowed charged particles streaming from the sun to claw away Mars’ atmosphere. Once the air was gone, the water sputtered into space. Without water, life, at least as we know it, is impossible.
And yet, Mars is hanging on. In a study published Wednesday in Science, researchers working with the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft report the existence of a 12.5-mile-wide liquid water lake just beneath a layer of ice at Mars’s south pole. On Earth, life got its start in stable bodies of water, and the same could be true on Mars. What’s more, where there’s one lake, there could easily be several.