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Mars Space Science

New Images Reveal Pure Water Ice On Mars 179

Posted by timothy
from the grab-a-bag-on-your-way-home dept.
Matt_dk writes "Images of recent impact craters taken by the HiRISE Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed sub-surface water ice halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars. While the Phoenix lander imaged subsurface ice where the top layer of soil had been disturbed at the landing site near the north pole, these new images — taken in quick succession, detecting how the ice sublimated away — are the first to show evidence of water ice at much lower latitudes. Surprisingly, the white ice may be made from 99 percent pure water."
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New Images Reveal Pure Water Ice On Mars

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  • Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ...
    And build a reactor that we can then start to release the water into the atmosphere.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TheBilgeRat (1629569)
      I am guessing there isn't quite enough to make a working atmo, but perhaps enough at least to support a mining colony. I agree-time to go!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ...

      Well, okay, but he will need more than just frozen water, he eats a lot of oats. Also hates it when people tell him to do things three times.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ... Get your ass to Mars, ...

      I see we're thinking on the same track. There's water on the Moon, water on Mars... Where next? A bidet (Water in Uranus).

    • Where it will promptly freeze and settle out back onto the surface.

  • 99% eh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ameline (771895) <ian...ameline@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @06:30PM (#29534357) Homepage Journal
    What's the last 1%? Something really nasty, I bet.
  • Ok - all we need now is to send the Guvernator up there to whip up some dissent among the subsurface mutant population, and we should have a breathable 14.7 PSI atmosphere in no time!!!

    • by sponga (739683)

      We Californians have him on loan dealing with all the mutants up in Sacramento, Pelosi is playing the chick with three breasts.

  • by Ponga (934481)
    Okay dammit, who the hell tags every story with the word "mars" in it, with the tag "getyourasstomars"...

    Because I laugh my ass off every time I see it :D Totally underrated movie!

    For the uninitiated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53ARrp7x4bQ [youtube.com]
  • by mbone (558574) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @06:54PM (#29534579)

    This is IMHO powerful evidence for recent warm wet Mars :

    'The other surprising discovery is that ice exposed at the bottom of these meteorite impact craters is so pure,' Byrne said. 'The thinking before was that ice accumulates below the surface between soil grains, so there would be a 50-50 mix of dirt and ice. We were able to figure out, given how long it took that ice to fade from view, that the mixture is about one percent dirt and 99 percent ice.'

    'The ice is a relic of a more humid climate not very long ago, perhaps just several thousand years ago.'

    Dr. Bryne talks about making this ice through 'frost heave,' but it sounds to me like Arcadia Planitia may have been considerably warmer during the geologically recent past.

    Remember, Mars has climate cycles, they cause the sublimation and freezing of both water and Carbon Dioxide, and both water vapor and Carbon Dioxide are powerful greenhouse gases on Mars. (As is methane, which is also present in the Martian atmosphere from unknown sources.) Presumably this ice dates from an earlier part of the climate cycle, when there was higher humidity. Higher humidity implies higher pressure and temperatures. Higher pressures could put the surface above the triple point of water, so that liquid water is possible.
    In that case, if the temperature gets high enough, liquid water become inevitable. That would (upon the next change in the climate cycle) freeze as very pure ice.

    The Europeans keep talking about sending a rover with a drill to Mars. I think we have now found a good place for it to go.

  • big deal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ascari (1400977)
    "pure water". It would be a lot more interesting if they found seriously contaminated water, with lots of organic compounds. Heck, raw sewage on mars would really make my day!
    • by geekoid (135745)

      That's what I was thinking.

      Good news and bad news

      Good news, We found water on mars/

      Bad News, it's contaminated with a pesticide.

      wait...

    • by ross.w (87751)

      at 99% pure it could still be raw sewage

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is no such thing called "99% pure water". If it is not 100%, it is not pure.

  • You know what this means!!

    ?

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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