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Unusual deposits near Mars equator could be ice
Posted: Fri, Nov 2, 2007, 7:14 AM ET (1114 GMT)
Mars Express with MARSIS boom (ESA) An unusual region of the Martian surface near the planet's equator could host deposits of water ice, scientists said after analyzing the latest data from a European spacecraft. The MARSIS radar on ESA's Mars Express region probed the area under the surface of Medusae Fossae, a region near the planet's equator thought to be very young because of a lack of craters on its surface. The radar found the deposits there, more than 2.5 kilometers deep, have electrical properties consistent with water ice, but could also be fluffy, dusty material like volcanic ash or wind-blown materials. However, there's little strong evidence for water ice so close to the planet's equator, and if the material is ash or other loose material, scientists don't know why the deeper layers haven't compacted.
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