I’m no scientist, but I believe this is huge.
We’ve “known” (the way we know about evolution) that for years.
90% of people Not Astronomers: Yawn.
Now are there little martian microbes in that ice somewhere, preserved? If so that change everything.
My understanding is that the space guys theorized there had been water on Mars at some time, but they didn’t know if any remained. This is the first time they’ve actually found any. Or, at least they’re pretty sure what they found was water. They can’t retrieve it and test it in the lab.
They actually know quite a lot more about evolution than this.
I recall that people have seen what looked like polar ice caps on Mars at various times through their telescopes, but to actually 1) find it/touch it, and 2) confirm that it’s H20 and not something else is pretty amazing.
I am, and I have been interested in Mars for a long time, and while this is news, it is not that huge. We’ve known that Mars has had water ice since Viking, and Mars Express has mapped its near surface extent – see, e.g.,
The interesting thing so far from Phoenix IMHO is that it confirms that the water cycle is still pretty active on Mars.
Oh, yes, BTW Phoenix does have several miniature labs on-board
and an atomic force microscope, and has been running all of these for some days now. I am sure that there will be a big announcement once they figure out just what these labs are telling them.
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