Martian Dig Reveals White Substance

Dig produces white material
“Two scoops into the soil we see there’s a white layer becoming visible in the wall of the trench,” said Carol Stoker of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., a member of the Phoenix science team.

Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith said, “We’ve had an impassioned discussion of whether that may be salts or ice or some other material even more exotic.”

Concentrations of salts can be indicators of formerly wet conditions. One goal for the Phoenix mission is to determine whether the ice beneath the surface of far-northern Mars ever thaws during long-term climate cycles.

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~ by aspoeth on June 4, 2008.

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