Meteorite impact explains Mars ice exposed
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Craters caused by meteors are not uncommon in our solar system. The researchers therefore not surprised that last year pictures of mars newly formed craters were discovered.
The HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered a 5-tal crater on the surface of Mars. Craters with a diameter of about 3 to 5 meters and a depth of about 30 to 60 cm.
Nothing so special. What is particular, that these craters round white spots were seen. Something perhaps to the existence of water (ice) may indicate.
A few days later, this was confirmed by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer from the spacecraft. There really is ice under the surface of Mars.
In the months that followed the ice slowly disappeared from the screen. The water is probably evaporated or sublimated into the atmosphere of Mars. The conditions on Mars are not suitable for water to remain.
The positive news is that water on Mars just a few tens of centimeters deep under the ground is. The water can relatively easily be brought to the surface. Useful for example if we want to colonize Mars. We would then at least not have to bring water.
Of course this discovery increases the chances that somewhere below the surface of Mars have liquid water somewhere to be found wherever life may also find it.
Ironically, this discovery is that scientists are now beginning to realize how close they previous Mars missions in the discovery of water were. If Mars lander just could dig deeper water they may have already discovered in the 80s. You ask you how the space would have evolved if they had done when actually.