Monday, December 15, 2008

UA Mars team describes long-term water environment

The UA Phoenix Mars Lander science team talked more today in a press conference at the AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco, about the results of the 5-month long mission . While the Martian arctic soil is currently very cold and dry, Mars’ periodic obliquity cycle means there have likely been dozens of times in the past 10 million years when the area was warmer, frost on the surface would have melted and made the soil moister. [right, geomorphic map of the Lander site, about 40 miles on a side. Credit. Univ. of Arizona]

Project leader Peter Smith will give a public lecture at the San Francisco Exploratorium on Thursday evening as part of the AGU meeting. Anticipation is that this will be the first chance to hear how the science team is pulling together all that they found during the mission.

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