Glacier on Mars?

Contributed by
Dec 19, 2007

The European Space Agency has released news that they may have found an active glacier on Mars!

This picture shows the possible glacier taken by the Mars Express orbiter. It sure looks like one! It's located in Deuteronilus Mensae, which is in the moderate northern Martian latitude. The feature has not been confirmed as a glacier, but it does show ridging like a glacier, and there appears to be water ice on the ridges as you'd expect to see on a glacier. Followup observations will be made to see if they can find features of water in the spectrum of the area.

Old glaciers have been found on Mars, but this one may be far younger, only thousands of years old. It's also not clear that, if this is a glacier, where the water ice is coming from. Some say it wells up from underground, and others say it comes from snow.

This is very cool news. I hope it pans out; once again it shows us that Mars is not just a bright red dot in the sky. It's a place, a location, a world we can -- and do -- visit.

Hat tip to BABloggee Rav Winston.

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