Shafaq news/ The U.S. space agency, NASA says that says it has discovered salty water beneath the surface of the dwarf planet, Ceres, in orbit around the sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The space agency's Dawn spacecraft gathered up-close views of the dwarf planet - smaller than the earth’s moon - before ending its mission in October 2018. At one point, Dawn dipped down to just 35 kilometers above Ceres’s surface.
Those up-close views revealed "mysterious bright regions", which scientists later concluded to be deposits of sodium carbonate from liquid that likely filtered up to the surface and evaporated, leaving behind a reflective salty crust.
By far, Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which girdles the inner planets between Mars and Jupiter. But unlike its rockier neighbors, Ceres is a giant ice ball. It holds more water than any world in the inner solar except for Earth. That knowledge had long led some astronomers to suspect Ceres may have once had a subsurface ocean, which is part of the reason NASA sent the Dawn spacecraft there.
However, some models predicted that Ceres' ocean would have frozen long ago, forming the world’s thick, icy crust.
It is noteworthy that the presence of water in a place has always been linked to the possibility of the existence of life. Usually, the search for life in outer space focuses on what scientists call the "habitable zone", which is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.