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Frost on Mars

17 Aug 2008, 02:20 UTC
Frost on Mars
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The Mars Phoenix Lander has observed water frost on a Martian morning. Water vapor in the atmosphere had frozen during the night, and as the sun rose through the morning the frost evaporated. I’m surprised that there is enough water in the Martian atmosphere for a visible amount of water frost to form.

Seeing a photograph of water frost got me wondering what it would look like when the Phoenix lander starts being encased in carbon dioxide ice when the winter starts. And will we see even more water frost as time goes by? Is the Phoenix mission going to last enough for us to even see carbon dioxide frost, or even the entire surface around the landing site being covered by a white layer of carbon dioxide ice?

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