Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Radar reveals ice deep below Martian surface

(via slashdot) The first ever underground investigation of another planet has been performed by a radar antenna aboard Europe's Mars Express spacecraft. The instrument probed two kilometres below the Martian surface and found tantalising hints of liquid water pooling in a buried impact crater.

The MARSIS antenna was deployed successfully in June 2005 after a series of glitches. It works by sending radio pulses towards the Red Planet and then analysing the time delay and strength of the pulses that bounce back. The radio waves that penetrate the surface rebound when they encounter a sub-surface boundary between materials with different electrical properties - such as rock and water... Link

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