View Full Version : Mars Express Sees Water's History on the Red Planet

2006-Oct-17, 12:59 AM
Most of humanity's Mars-bound fleet of spacecraft is searching the Red Planet for evidence of its watery past. New evidence gathered by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft is helping scientists fine tune their theories. A radar instrument on the spacecraft has turned up water ice in Mars' upper layers; a mineral mapping instrument has discovered chemicals formed in a wet environment; and its powerful camera has picked out obvious features on the surface of Mars formed by running water. Here's a breakdown of what Mars Express has found so far.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/10/16/mars-express-sees-waters-history-on-the-red-planet/)

John Mendenhall
2006-Oct-17, 09:47 PM
A billion year glacier! I don't think there's anything to match that on Earth.

Kullat Nunu
2006-Oct-18, 04:38 PM
No, there isn't. The Antarctica became ice-covered some 15 million years ago and the ice is constantly being renewed. Oldest ice is "only" hundreds of thousands of years old.

John Mendenhall
2006-Oct-18, 05:04 PM
I think I erased my reply. Thanks, Kullat, I thought Ant. was recent.

2006-Oct-18, 05:45 PM
I think it will take time and lots of missions to really understand the history of Mars. The current and recent missions have discovered a lot of things, but the geology is complex enough that it will take time to sort it out.

Glaciers are one example -- when they formed, how they formed, where they formed, how the changes in Mars' axial tilt impacted them, where the ice went.