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Mysterious polygons discovered under the surface of Mars: what scientists know

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Mars hides many more surprises from humans

The Chinese rover Zhurong has discovered an irregular polygonal relief consisting of wedges under the surface of Mars at a depth of about 35 meters. The objects range in size from centimeters to tens of meters.

According to Universe Today, the discovery was made possible as the rover is equipped with a radar system. It allows the rover to look under the surface of the planet. The researchers said the wedges were discovered throughout the robot's journey.

Zhurong landed on Mars on May 15, 2021. It was supposed to study the planet's topography for 3 months and take measurements using ground penetrating radar (GPR). However, it lasted just over a year. Subsequently, the device was sent to a planned hibernation and since May 2022, communication with it has not been restored.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences explained that the GPR provided important local details about shallow water structures, as well as information about what is under the surface of the red planet at a depth of up to 100 meters along the rover's route. In total, the rover traveled 1,921 meters during its lifetime.

In the journal Nature, the researchers said that the radar detected 16 polygonal wedges at a distance of about 1.2 kilometers. This, in their opinion, indicates the spread of a similar relief under the Utopia Planitia.

Scientists suggest that these hidden polygons were formed as a result of freeze-thaw cycles on Mars. Such processes could have occurred on the planet billions of years ago. However, the wedges could also be of volcanic origin as cooling lava can form such a pattern.

The wedges were probably formed 3.7-2.9 billion years ago. Scientists are considering the possibility that this relief was originally on the surface and later buried by geological processes provoked by large-scale climate change on the planet.

Polygonal relief has been found in several areas of Mars before, but this is the first time it has been found under the surface.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported that hexagonal patterns were found on the surface of Mars, which scientists are delighted with.

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