Mars Lander Discovers Ice, Liquid Discovered On Saturn's MoonCategory: General News
Posted: August 2, 2008 03:16PM
It's been quite a week for space exploration, to say the least! In the Phoenix Mars Lander's life, short of discovering little green men, nothing could be more important that its discovery of actual water ice on the surface of the red planet. This incredible finding was confirmed when the Lander heated up some of the ice and examined the elemental composition of the vapor produced - definitely water! Part of the Lander's mission is to determine whether the Martian surface could have ever supported life, and water is one of the essential factors of supporting life.
A little further out in our solar system, the Cassini Spacecraft made another incredible discovery - there are lakes of liquid ethane on Saturn's Titan moon! This development is especially exciting, considering that Earth was previously the only known celestial body to have liquid on its surface. Cassini also discovered that like Earth, Titan experiences rain, evaporation, and land that appears to channel rain towards larger bodies of liquid, like the newly-discovered 150 ft. long lake! It was previously believed that Titan had oceans of methane, ethane, and other light hydrocarbons, but that theory proved to have no truth in reality.