Near the equator of Mars, discovered water ice

 

Scientists re-analyzed the scientific data obtained previously by using one of the Martian orbiters of NASA and found evidence of large amounts of water near the Martian equator in the place where water ice is unstable and should not exist.


These data were obtained using the neutron spectrometer onboard NASA’s Mars Odyssey. Increasing the mathematical methods of solution of these data obtained initially at low resolution, the researchers noticed an unexpectedly high amount of hydrogen, which at high latitudes is a sign of deposits of water ice around some sections of the Martian equator.

Neutron spectrometer cannot directly detect water, but it is able to measure the hydrogen content, on the basis of which to calculate the amount of water or other hydrous substances. The first Grand opening of the probe Mars Odyssey was the opening in 2002 of significant quantities of hydrogen in the high latitudes of Mars. However, in the low latitudes of the red planet water ice is thermodynamically unstable, so for scientists came as a surprise discovery of such a large amount of hydrogen near the equator of the planet.

While scientists can’t pinpoint the origin of this water ice. According to one of the working hypotheses of ice and dust from the polar regions of the planet could be transferred through the atmospheric circulation to the equator at the time when the inclination of the axis of Mars to the Ecliptic plane was higher than it is now. However, this last time there were hundreds of thousands or even millions of years ago. During this time, the ice located at any depth, being thermodynamically unstable, had a long time to evaporate. Additional “protection” that ice could provide a hardened layer of dust that covers it, but this version is also weakly consistent with the quantities of water ice, according to the available data on the equator of Mars, the researchers note.

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