Oct 2, 2008

Phoenix detects Snow Fall on Mars!

Phoenix in Mars

After uncovering ice in the soil of planet Mars, NASA has now spotted snow falling from Martian clouds. On Monday, NASA reported that its Phoenix Mars Lander picked up signs of snow drifting down at an altitude of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the landing site. But the snow particles appears to vaporize before touching the Martian soil.

Phoenix, whose mission was to study the history of water in the arctic area of Mars, has already proved that ice is present in the subsurface soil on Mars. Originally Phoenix mission was planned for three months, which is now in fifth month. Now it is facing scarcity of solar energy and soon Phoenix mission will come to an end.

"For nearly three months after landing, the sun never went below the horizon at our landing site," said Barry Goldstein, JPL Phoenix project manager, in a statement. "Now it is gone for more than four hours each night, and the output from our solar panels is dropping each week. Before the end of October, there won't be enough energy to keep using the robotic arm."

Image: NASA


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