It’s official: water ice on Mars!

Big news from NASA as scientists announced that the Phoenix mission had found water ice on Mars.

The evidence is a pair of photographs taken 4 days apart showing small chunks of ice disappearing – by sublimation – from the bottom of the small trench dug by a robotic arm. The comparison photos below show the chunks in question before and after sublimation at the bottom left of the picture.

Amazing stuff. When the chunks were first observed, they were hypothesised to be either water ice or salt. However, salt crystals won’t sublime under the conditions at the landing site. Water will.

BTW, the announcement came first ( June 20) on the Phoenix lander’s tweet! And folks have been saying Twitter is of no use…


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