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Tuesday, May 28, 2002



Hydrogen Clues

Hydrogen clues.
Hydrogen clues.
Credit: NASA
(CNN) - Scientists say they may have solved the mystery of where Mars' water went. Large amounts of hydrogen have been detected under the surface -- perhaps in the form of water ice.

Researchers announced preliminary findings from Mars Odyssey in March, when early data from an instrument called the gamma ray spectrometer showed evidence of vast deposits of hydrogen in Mars' southern hemisphere.

Experts say the confirmation of ice on Mars could answer a question that's nagged them for years: Despite the fact that the surface of Mars now appears dry as bone, much physical evidence -- including channels on the landscape -- suggests that water once flowed there.

Researchers have long been puzzled about where the water went. Now, the new findings suggest that it could have gone underground.

Does the possible presence of water on Mars mean life exists there? Scientists say it raises the chances, but it's by no means conclusive.


- posted by Brian @ 23:55 EST