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Mars Chasma Boreale

Image of Mars Chasma Boreale
LIFE IN ICE? Chasma Boreale is a long valley that cuts deep into the north polar icecap of Mars. Where the ice cap has retreated, sand from earlier, ice-free climate cycles is exposed that winds have shaped into dunes. In 2007, NASA’s Phoenix mission landed in the northern arctic plains of Mars to study the history of water and potential habitability in the ice-rich soil. Phoenix verified the presence of water ice in the Martian sub-surface, and found calcium carbonate, an indicator of a less acidic (more potentially habitable) planet in the past. Phoenix even observed snow falling from clouds in the Martian atmosphere! This eerily Earth-like vista was made by combining data from NASA's Mars Odyssey and Global Surveyor orbiters. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University, Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS)
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