Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Astro-Images of the Day: Phoenix Proves Water on Mars!

What an amazing couple of days in space science! Check out this two-image gif: The photos were taken a day apart, of "Snow Queen," the rock beneath the Phoenix Mars Lander. The lander's jets cleared away the surface dust and stuff, so you're looking at bare rock. But the interesting thing is how the rock changes over the course of a day. You can see the ice evaporate and the rock crack as it dries out!

Click the image to see the story.

The sample came from this spot:

Click the image to see the story.

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."

Oh, and what's the weather like on Mars? Here's a sample from the Canadian weather station:

Click the image to see the story.

I'm so excited about this discovery and proud of our little lander. An ocean of water-ice lies frozen in the Martian crust... think of the possibilities.

Tags: astronomy

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