Ok, so the little Phoenix lander, which is now on Mars, it turning up some pretty interesting stuff. First off, while there’s been past contention of water on the planet, proof has been scarce. Now we have confirmed ice, confirmed previous groundwater, and confirmed snow. I’m not sure exactly about the ‘groundwater’ comment, there were just remarks about calcium carbonate and sheet silicate in the soil, which evidently are ‘known to be formed in liquid water’. To me that says groundwater, but I’m no scientist. Regardless, snow actually falling on Mars is pretty cool, especially considering the dry, dusty image I have of the place. Not quite winter wonderland.
Of course, science is quick to deny any proof of anything. Some examples:
Soil experiments revealed the presence of two minerals known to be formed in liquid water. Scientists identified the minerals as calcium carbonate, found in limestone and chalk, and sheet silicate. But exactly how that happened remains a mystery. “It’s really kind of all up in the air,” said William Boynton, a mission scientist at the University of Arizona at Tucson.
Hm. I still say groundwater. Or maybe wild hail formed around a rock, melted, and making all sorts of chemicals, before it hits the ground again.
Or this one:
A laser aboard the Phoenix recently detected snow falling from clouds more than two miles above its home in the northern arctic plains. The snow disappeared before reaching the ground.
Really? The snow dissappeared?!?!?! That’s freaky. Seriously. No snow, ya know? In this ‘frigid and dry’ environment, what could’ve happened to it, since it never hit the ground? Hm….
I remain convinced of the coolness of these potential discoveries. Almost as good as new test ovens. Yum.