June 20, 2008

Phoenix Discovers Ice

The animation at right displays the finding of ice on Mars by Phoenix. As the previous posts about Phoenix on this blog show, Phoenix's mission was to find water on the polar regions of Mars, and it has done exactly that.

Through digging, it uncovered bright chunks. These were originally thought to be either ice or salt. However, when Phoenix checked the same location a few days later, it discovered that many of the dice sized chunks were missing. Salt definitely does not do this! This is very solid evidence for these white chunks to be ice, which probably soon after sublimed over the course of four Martian days. The animation shows the change over the four days.

Image from NASA.

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