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|Ice Found at the South Pole|
Mars Express' MARSIS has found ice deposits 3.7km below the surface of the south pole. It is predicted that there is enough ice to cover the planet under 11m of water. The data suggest that the ice is ~90% pure. "The south polar layered deposits of Mars cover an area bigger than Texas. The amount of water they contain has been estimated before, but never with the level of confidence this radar makes possible," said Jeffrey Plaut of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif. "MARSIS is showing itself to be a very powerful tool to probe underneath the Martian surface, and it's showing how our team's goals, such as probing the polar layered deposits, are being successfully achieved," Giovanni Picardi, a professor at the University of Rome, said. "Not only is MARSIS providing us with the first-ever views of Mars subsurface at those depths, but the details we are seeing are truly amazing. We expect even greater results when we have concluded an ongoing, sophisticated fine-tuning of our data processing methods. These should enable us to understand even better the surface and subsurface composition."
|Map showing the thickness of Mars' south polar layered ice deposits(purple represents the thinnest areas; red the thickest). The dark circle is an area where data could not be collected.|
(More info: NASA)
- posted by Jim @ 8:58 EST