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Mars polar water is pure: study

File image.
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Jan 20, 2009
A large ice cap found at Mars' northern pole is "of a very high degree of purity," according to an international study reported on Tuesday by French researchers.

Radar data sent back by the US Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) point to 95 percent purity in this deposit, France's National Institute of Sciences of the Universe (Insu) said in a press release.

The Martian polar regions are believed to hold the equivalent of two to three million cubic kilometres" (0.47-0.72 million cu. miles) of ice, it said.

That makes it roughly 100 times more than the total volume of North America's Great Lakes, which is 22,684 cu. kms (5,439 miles).

The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

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Important Role Of Groundwater Springs In Shaping Mars
Paris, France (ESA) Dec 12, 2008
Data and images from Mars Express suggest that several Light Toned Deposits, some of the least understood features on Mars, were formed when large amounts of groundwater burst on to the surface. Scientists propose that groundwater had a greater role in shaping the martian surface than previously believed, and may have sheltered primitive life forms as the planet started drying up.

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