Earlier this week, icy “bright white crumbs” were discovered in the pits of a trench found in Mars’ north pole by The Phoenix spacecraft. Since the crumbs vanished in more recent photos, taken as evidence of the ice being melted by sun exposure, scientists have been considering the possibility of human habitability. Though water is crucial to human survival, some scientists argue that without an energy source like the sun, and an organic carbon source, Mars is still not hospitable.
There has been previous evidence of the existence of water, but as Bruce Jakosky, an astrobiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder puts it: “It’s not unexpected, but finding it is different than predicting it.” To further this, Mars’ soil and ice are being tested for minerals which contain traces of carbonates and sulfates which are formed by liquid water.
photo credits: ESA, NASA