Ice on Mars

i-06ab7d094fd6fa0ec22beb0da900197c-capt.c9c54b8a823b40e39f0aada51c3aee87.phoenix_mars_la102_thumb.jpg

To quote the Lander: "Are you ready to celebrate?  Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars!  w00t!!!  Best day ever!!" More here.

More like this

Over at Uncommon Descent, "DaveScot" has attempted to make the case that "public interest in global warming evaporates". By his own measure, public interest in ID barely exists.
Educational on line learning: Math. Have your copy book ready:
Cokie Roberts in full concern troll mode: I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be at Myrtle Beach and if he's going to take a vacation at this time. I just think this is not the…
NASA today announced that it had evidence that water may have flowed on Mars as recently as the past five years. Images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor do not directly show water, but instead show recent changes in surface features that are consistent with water flow. More here, here and over at…

Looks like Dan Quayle was right.

Can they rule out solid CO2 (Dry Ice)? I haven't seen this possibility mentioned anywhere, and unless/until they do the claim of solid evidence for water ice is still a bit fluid, IMO. Might there be a big underground "carbonifier" of solid CO2 that keeps the soil temperature low? There's something hard down there. What is it?

By S. C. Hartman (not verified) on 20 Jun 2008 #permalink

Hartman: "...the claim of solid evidence for water ice is still a bit fluid..."

Beautifully phrased! Made my day.

It totally made my day to see that come across my Twitter feed. Love it when machines say "w00t" :)

Hartman, from the comments on the linked page:

Re: Dry Ice (CO2 ice) vs Water Ice

In the Martian summer it is much too hot for dry ice to be solid. There is abundant dry ice (frozen CO2)on Mars in the winter. The melting point of dry ice on Mars is -193 F. Today's weather report from the Canadian weather station on Phoenix shows a low of -112 F -- way too hot for dry ice to stay solid right now

Magpie:
Solid CO2 does not melt to a liquid phase except at high pressure: it sublimates directly to the gas phase. CO2 freezes at -78 C (-108 F), cf. -112 F (-80 C) you cite for the local temp up there (where did the m.p. of -193 F "on Mars" come from? That's not possible.). The phase transition temp is probably somewhat lower than -78 C at the partial pressure for CO2 in Martian atmosphere, but anyway, it seems to me that solid CO2 could exist below the surface especially if covered by a layer of insulating dust. I look forward to chemical identification of what these evanescent chunks are.

By S. C. Hartman (not verified) on 20 Jun 2008 #permalink

the melting point you mention is at 1 atm (earth atmospheric pressure - Mars is much lower, so it is in a different part of the phase diagram.

By paul orwin (not verified) on 20 Jun 2008 #permalink