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Mars Space Science

Water Ice On Mars 364

Posted by kdawson
from the not-wet dept.
cathector sends along a story from SpaceWeather.com on the discovery of water ice on Mars. "Scientists have figured out the mysterious white substance unearthed by NASA's Phoenix lander on Mars. It's frozen water. The breakthrough came last week when Phoenix's stereo camera caught the substance in the act of disappearing. Bathed in martian sunlight for four days, the white substance sublimated — i.e., it transformed from solid to gas without passing through the liquid state. This is how water behaves on Mars.... Some readers have asked, how do we know the white substance is not frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of frozen water? Answer: Phoenix's landing site is too warm for dry ice. The average daily temperature is about -70 F while dry ice requires temperatures lower than about -109 F." The animated GIF showing the ice sublimating is pretty nice too.
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Water Ice On Mars

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