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WATER IN MARS

June 20, 2008
tags: ,

There is water in Mars.

Bright Chunks at Phoenix Lander’s Mars Site Must Have Been Ice

TUCSON, Ariz. ā€“ Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it.

“It must be ice,” said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson. “These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it’s ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can’t do that.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jerry Nichols permalink
    June 20, 2008 4:46 am

    What would happen then if a meteor strikes a location with sufficiently thick permafrost? If the ice is under enough lithostatic pressure, couldn’t it melt briefly on impact, forming mudflows and also in the process spewing lots of water into the atmosphere?

    Many of the photos I’ve seen of Martian craters do look a lot like flowing mud stopped dead in its tracks.

    Bonus question: Why no audio equipment on any Martian landers? What might we hear? Maybe nothing of interest, but maybe some important clues?

  2. June 20, 2008 11:25 am

    The scenario you’re thinking could be possible. The odds of a giant meteor striking Mars is about even as Earth I suppose. So it will probably have to wait for man to melt the ice.

    No audio equipment? Interesting.

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