A glacier on Mars

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A glacier on Mars

Cool image time! The image on the right, cropped and reduced in resolution, is a Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter picture taken on March 28, 2016 of a glacial flow coming down off of mountains in Mars’ northern mid-latitudes. The mountains are to the south and beyond the bottom right. The flow is to the northwest. The full image can be found here. As noted on the image site,

These flow-like structures were previously called “lobate debris aprons,” but the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument on [Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter] has shown that they are actually debris-covered flows of ice, or glaciers. There is no evidence for present-day flow of these glaciers, so they appear to be remnants of past climates.

Need I say it? This is water, on Mars, and in abundance. Think that this might be good real estate when those first settlers arrive?

One comment

  • Localfluff

    The rotation axis of Mars has tipped over more and more often than that of Earth, since our big Moon stabilizes us. So there should be ancient polar water ice caps covered by dust here and there. (Maybe glaciers have formed in other ways too). Given heavy mining equipment, many places on Mars are good real estates. But as on Earth, many factors go into picking the best place. Seasons, topography, weather patterns, local resources.

    The immediate Mars human space flight objectives should be to visit a laboratory there for about a year every other conjunction at best. First flights to Mars will find out, but not rely on, any resources on Mars as in digging up water ice.

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