Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mars Phoenix Probe Hits White Gold?

The Mars Phoenix probe, which touched down on the north polar region of Mars twenty days ago, has begun digging with its robotic arm.  Dirt from the first scoop was "stickier" than expected perhaps due to moisture?  Where would moisture come from on that dry world?  Scientists chose the polar landing site because orbital imaging indicated that there is ice underneath the surface.  But could it be this close to the surface?  Pictured above is the trench that Phoenix has enlarged.  You can see light patches in the trenches.  They are either streaks of some salt, or water ice--white gold, if you will.  If turns out to be ice, it will be the first alien water we've ever had a chance to study. We should find out very soon. [It IS ice!]

No comments: