Wa­ter ice found at the south pole

All About Space - - Mars Express -

It was pre­vi­ously known that Mars has ice si­t­u­ated at its poles. This is not to the same ex­tent as Earth, as Mars’ po­lar ice is much thin­ner and more sea­son­ally vari­able.

More sur­pris­ing, Mars Ex­press’ Ob­ser­va­toire pour la Minéralo­gie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Ac­tiv­ité (OMEGA) in­stru­ment re­vealed that wa­ter ice, as well as car­bon diox­ide ice, is present at both the north and south poles.

OMEGA mea­sured the amount of sun­light and heat re­flected from the poles to con­firm this re­sult. In the case of the south pole, sci­en­tists were also sur­prised to see vast amounts of peren­nial wa­ter ice en­cas­ing it.

The steep slopes, known as ‘scarps’, are made al­most en­tirely of wa­ter ice

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