Stochastic Scribbles
Random musings in a variety of subjects, from science to religion.

Ice or salt?

Has the Mars Phoenix Lander uncovered ice that was buried under the soil? While the blast from its thrusters when it landed may have uncovered ice, it’s not reachable by the robotic arm. In a trench dug up by the arm last week, named “Dodo-Goldilocks”, the lander may have uncovered ice, which is much more obvious in a color picture than in a black and white photograph. Seeing white on a planet whose most popular color is red is a nice change.

The “Dodo-Goldilocks” trench; from NASA

Is the exposed white material ice or salts? Or is it something else entirely? Only after analysis with the TEGA instrument on the lander will we know.