Sunday, September 23, 2007

Martian South Pole Abundant In Water Ice Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: Universe Today)

(Image: Martian South Pole, Credit: NASA / MOLA Science Team, via MIT)

When it comes to life giving water, Earth reigns supreme. But outside our home world, it seems as if Earth's red neighbor Mars may also have an abundance of water frozen at its southern pole.

(MIT News Office) The experiment reveals that the southern Martian polar region is the largest body of frozen water on the planet and the largest, outside of Earth, in the inner solar system, which includes Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury.

Until now, scientists were puzzled by the observation that a large percentage of the southern polar region surface does not reflect much light, as it would if there were ice on the surface. This study shows that much of the ice is covered in a layer of dust, but it remains unknown why the dust only covers certain areas, Zuber said.

Maria Zuber's team also discovered that the southern polar cap contains "about 15 percent silicate dust" that is mixed within the ice. In order to survive on Mars, future colonists will have to develop powerful water filters in order to drink melted Martian water.

Note: perhaps Israel could help us out with this.

Update: Adjusted image position, moved credits below image.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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