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Scientists now have solid evidence to show that ice under the Martian surface varies in depth from location to location

After continuing to receive more detailed information about Mars, U.S. scientists now believe that it is possible that up to half of the Martian surface is covered by ice.  The problem that researchers continue to face is that underground ice depth varies from location to location -- while it can be directly on the surface in one spot, it can be several feet deep just a few feet away.

"We find the top layer of soil has a huge effect on the water ice in the ground," said Arizona State University's Joshua Bandfield.  It was previously believed that Martian ice could be found anywhere from 3 to 6 feet below the surface -- Bandfield's research indicates that it is possible ice can be found just two inches underneath the surface.

Bandfield compares seasonal changes in thermal infrared patterns, after the data was collected with the NASA Odyssey spacecraft, to be able to accurately estimate readings within several hundred feet.  Dusty areas insulate ice, while locations on the surface with large amounts of rocks help pump a lot of heat into the ground -- something that increases the depth where ice will be found.

The Phoenix Mars Mission launches in August; the aim of the mission to put a craft on the surface of Mars to sample the ice.  

Researchers are now trying to estimate how deep the ice on the surface could be.  It is believed that the ice deposits are deep enough that they would cause the creation of large oceans if the deposits were to melt.

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RE: And now.. what's in it?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/3/2007 12:10:07 PM , Rating: 0
yes, spoil another planet... They are just all our for the taking anyway, right???

RE: And now.. what's in it?
By hubajube on 5/3/2007 1:58:47 PM , Rating: 3
yes, spoil another planet... They are just all our for the taking anyway, right???
Oh yes, earth is such a shit hole. . I don't know where you live, but I live in a beautiful desert area. Quite a bit of difference than where I'm from (Pennsylvania - quite green and beautiful too) but I love the varying shades of red, green, and brown. I find it fascinating and stare quite a bit at nature.

RE: And now.. what's in it?
By greenchasch on 5/3/2007 2:25:19 PM , Rating: 3
yes, spoil another planet... They are just all our for the taking anyway, right???
If we don't own them, who do you think they belong to? At 700 degrees on the surface, I don't think we need to worry about any Venusian natives. I also don't think cooling the planet down a bit would be "spoiling" it for anyone.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/3/2007 3:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
I’m getting the impression my sarcastic remark was missed by at least 3 people, hence the negative rating. I guess my humor is a little to dry for some…

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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