NASA’s Mars Odyssey took this picture over the part of Valles Marineris. It is a false-color infrared picture and each color represents a different type of rock, sediment, or dust.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

The Odyssey Spacecraft Brings News from Mars!
News story originally written on December 18, 2002

Researchers working with data from the Odyssey spacecraft have some interesting new information about the water and rocks on Mars. Earlier this month they announced their exciting new findings.

The researchers have found evidence of huge amounts of water ice in the soil near the Martian North Pole. They had the opportunity to look for ice in the soil in mid-October when the frozen carbon dioxide, which caps the north pole during the colder months, evaporated. With the carbon dioxide frost gone, researchers had the opportunity to take a look into the soil. There they found massive amounts of frozen water. The ice is even more abundant at the north pole than it is at the south pole.

Other scientists, who are also working with information gathered by the Odyssey spacecraft, have been looking at infrared and visible images of surface of Mars that have revealed complex patterns of rock layers, impact craters and wind erosion and deposition. According to Dr. Philip Christiansen, principle investigator for Odyssey’s thermal-infrared imaging system, “color infrared images of Mars show variations in rock layers similar to those seen in the layered rocks of the Grand Canyon”.

Last modified December 18, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.

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