“Buried!” –Mars’ Ancient North Pole Ice Sheets Found

Mars North Pole

Newly discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars’ north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona, using measurements gathered by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) that emits radar waves that can penetrate up to a mile and a half beneath the surface. If melted, the newly discovered polar ice would be equivalent to a global layer of water around Mars at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.

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“Mars Mount Sharp Reveals Ancient Environment” –Curiosity Digests 1st Sample

Mars Mount Sharp at Gale Crater

 

“Each layer of this mountain is a puzzle piece,” said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of JPL. “They each hold clues to a different era in Martian history. We’re excited to see what this first sample tells us about the ancient environment, especially about water.”

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