Friday, June 20, 2008

Ice On Mars!

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has found ice on the surface of the planet. That's right, ICE. like in WATER ICE!

Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it.

"It must be ice," said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson. "These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it's ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can't do that."

I can't imagine how excited the Phoenix Mars Lander team was when this discovery was made. For some this might not seem like much, but this is the best opportunity humanity has ever had to analyze extraterrestrial water in any state. Wired has the images of the chunks before and after they melted, be sure to check them out. Link

Of course not everyone will be convinced this is real. I'm already hearing some people scream 'Photoshopped!'. And what about the possibility that aliens lifted those rocks to mess with our heads? Who knew those extraterrestrials were such a humorous bunch?


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