close
Advertisement

13 of the coolest scientific discoveries of the year

From new planets to DNA breakthroughs to whale earwax, 2018 has been filled with fascinating scientific stories.

2. It looks like there’s a lake on Mars
2. It looks like there’s a lake on Mars
Getty Images

This past summer, a report in Science revealed that radar scans from the Mars Express spacecraft had detected an underground lake on the red planet, below the southern ice cap. (The Mars Express is a project of the European Space Agency.)

Although ice and gaseous water have been found on Mars, its surface clearly shows that at some point in the past the planet had plenty of liquid water that had somehow gone missing, according to National Geographic.

If the Martian seas somehow ended up as underground reservoirs, they could provide resources for future human missions to the planet.

Even more intriguingly, astrobiologists say the lake could be conducive to life: Elena Pettinelli of Italy’s Roma Tre University—one of the paper’s authors—points out that the similar environment of the Antarctic hosts living bacteria.

If you believe the news, a human mission to Mars is no longer a sci-fi fantasy. But what problems would we need to overcome? And should we even try?



Advertisement
Horoscopes April 2019

Horoscopes April 2019

Find out what the stars have in store for you this month, thanks to Reader’s Digest’s expert astrologist Janice Jones.
32 eerie experiences that defy explanation

32 eerie experiences that defy explanation

Do you believe in a sixth sense? In ghostly apparitions, spirit voices or messages from beyond the grave? Before you decide, have a read of these 32 gripping, real-life experiences.
14 fascinating things that will happen in the next 60 seconds

14 fascinating things that will happen in the next 60 seconds

Get your timer out for this one. A minute goes by pretty quickly. But a whole lot can happen during those 60 seconds. Here are some fascinating things that will happen in the next 60 seconds. Ready? Start timing.
6 strangest conspiracy theories about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

6 strangest conspiracy theories about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Some of these theories are so crazy that you can’t help but just laugh.
10 strange urban legends that turned out to be true

10 strange urban legends that turned out to be true

You’ve probably heard that all legends have a basis in fact. That may not be true. These bizarre urban legends are – or were at least inspired by truth.

Advertisement