Water ice found near Martian equator


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A review of old Mars Odyssey data has revealed the presence on Mars of water ice near the planet’s equator.

The article makes a big deal about the importance of this discovery for the possibility of past or even present life on Mars. I say that its real importance relates to future colonists, and cannot be understated.

I should add one caveat: The resolution of the data is not great, 290 kilometers, which leaves a lot of room for error.

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  • Kirk

    This reminds me of a four year old European paper, “One million cubic kilometers of fossil ice in Valles Marineris: Relicts of a 3.5 Gy old glacial landsystem along the Martian equator”: http://www.dmzone.org/papers/Gourroncetal2014_VM.pdf

    I’ve never heard any followup on that. The ice hypothesized in that paper would likely be covered a bit too deep for Mars Odyssey’s neutron spectrometer to detect, but I’ve not heard if it should have been detected by the penetrating radars on Mars Express or MRO.

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