Ice on Mars
Shown is a view of the south pole of Mars from measurements made during
the first week of the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft mapping, in February, 2002.
The spacecraft has identified what appear to be large areas of ice on the
red planet's surface, U.S. space scientists said on March 1, 2002, a discovery
that could prove key to the search for life there. Odyssey, which began mapping
the Martian surface last week, used a suite of gamma ray spectrometer instruments
to detect significant amounts of hydrogen near the planet's south pole, which
scientists said are most likely due to the presence of ice formed from water.
Soil enriched in hydrogen is indicated by the deep blue colors on the map,
where a low intensity of epithermal neutrons is found.