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Friday, March 16, 2007

 

Mars Pole Holds Enough Ice to Flood Planet, Radar Study Shows

‘Mars’s southern polar ice cap contains enough water to cover the entire planet approximately 36 feet (11 meters) deep if melted, according to a new radar study.

It’s the most precise calculation yet for the thickness of the red planet’s ice, according to the international team of researchers responsible for the discovery.

Using an ice-penetrating radar to map the south pole’s underlying terrain, the scientists calculated that the ice is up to 2.2 miles (3,500 meters) thick in places, said the study’s leader, Jeffrey Plaut of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The radar, from the Mars Express orbiter, also revealed the surprising purity of the ice, Plaut added.’




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