Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.


Ray Kurzweil


Newly spotted ice field buried on Mars could provide water to future colonists

Posted in Science on 23rd Nov, 2016 02:55 PM by AlexMuller

In the mid-northern latitudes on Mars, a large flat area exists called Utopia Planitia, which roughly translates as "plains of paradise." Unlike the lush areas we might consider paradisiacal here on Earth, this region of Mars consists of cracked and pitted red dirt, more a desert than a delight.


Thanks to a new discovery though, the area could one day be a paradise indeed for astronauts landing on the planet, as all that barren regolith hides a frozen lake beneath that holds as much water as Lake Superior, the largest of North America's Great Lakes.

The discovery of the buried and frozen water was made through the use of the ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument (SHARAD) on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The MRO arrived in orbit around Mars in 2006 and began its primary science mission of observing the Red Planet from orbit 10 years ago this month.
The frozen water deposit is found roughly halfway between the Martian equator and its north pole and it "ranges in thickness from about 260 ft (80 m) to about 560 ft (170 m), with a composition that's 50 to 85 percent water ice, mixed with dust or larger rocky particles," according to NASA.
It is covered by soil measuring about 3-33 ft (1-10 m) thick. That soil has protected the ice from subliming – turn straight from a solid to a gas – as occurs with Martian ice that's exposed to the atmosphere.
While the newly discovered deposit only represents less than one percent of all known water ice on Mars, it's still a significant finding because of its position on the planet and its location relatively near the surface.
"This deposit is probably more accessible than most water ice on Mars, because it is at a relatively low latitude and it lies in a flat, smooth area where landing a spacecraft would be easier than at some of the other areas with buried ice," said Jack Holt of the University of Texas, a co-author of a paper describing the findings in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Another paper co-author, Gordon Osinski from Canada's Western University in Ontario, was inspired to turn the SHARAD instrument on the Utopia Planitia because certain features it contained, such as polygonal cracking, were similar to landforms in the Canadian Arctic beneath which frozen ice is found. Data from over 600 overhead passes with SHARAD were used in the determination of the frozen underground Martian lake.

Tags: MarswatericespaceplanetresearchSHARADNASA

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-12-26
What a great rerusoce this text is. Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-10-22 20:21:21
    Moon colonization: many lava tube caves, water and more
    Posted in Software on 2017-10-22 20:09:36
    Localethereum promises quick and more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-10-22 20:05:14
    Doctors May Have Found a New Use for more
    Posted in Science on 2017-10-22 04:22:31
    Blue Origin’s Breakthrough Means SpaceX Finally Has more
    Posted in Business on 2017-10-22 04:17:51
    Bitcoin boom prompts growth of coin-mining more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me