30 September 2009

Argentina Meteor/Meteorite News- Mendoza Meteor 27SEP09 29SEP09

29 de Septiembre de 2009 07:43
por Medios
Se trata de los sitios Airlines y Lunarmeteoritehunters, donde en idioma inglés levantaron la novedad que hoy sorprendió al país luego de que cayera sobre el cielo de Mendoza y La Pampa un meteorito que se desintegró antes de tocar tierra. Medios internacionales también recogieron la noticia. Aquí los detalles. ... [more]

Other related news links about 27SEP09 Argentina Meteor:

Por Medios
"El fenómeno fue visto por un piloto (de la Fuerza Aérea de La Pampa) y dio aviso. La información que nos dieron es que se trata de eso", confiaron fuentes policiales de esa provincia. Mirá las fotos. ...

Fue cerca de las 19 del domingo. Decenas de testigos vieron un meteorito. MDZ consultó varias fuentes y todas coinciden en sus versiones generales. Se vio una gigantesca bola de fuego, se escucharon tres fuertes explosiones y en zonas como Carmensa tembló reciamente el piso. Hay movimiento de policías y bomberos que investigan la naturaleza del fenómeno. ...

La astrónoma del Observatorio Pierre Auger, Beatriz García, confirmó a MDZ que se trató de un objeto bastante particular porque fue visto por muchas personas en varios lugares y además tuvo una impactante imagen visual. ...

El fenómeno fue capturado por un espectador casual y ya se puede ver en You Tube. Esta noticia fue primicia de MDZ en la noche de ayer. ...

Confirmado: el fenómeno de Alvear fue un meteorito y se desintegró en el cielo

Argentina Meteor/Meteorite News- Videos of 27SEP09 Meteor Smoke Trail 30SEP09

Meteor/Meteorite News- 30SEP09

Shock and surprise as space object falls

Momento 24-Argentina Fireball
Yesterday afternoon, near 19, the inhabitants of Mendoza, La Pampa, San Luis, and Cordoba saw a meteorite coming down the sky. It finally desintegrated with ...
See all stories on this topic

Astronomers say bright light in sky likely a meteor

St. Catharines Standard-Ontario Fireball
Wing and her daughter weren't the only ones to see what astronomers are saying was likely a meteor streaming through the air. The unexpected celestial event ...

Suspected meteor lit up the night

Niagara Falls Review-Ontario Fireball
Then I realized it was a meteor, and quickly corrected myself, telling my daughter, 'No - it's actually a shooting star.' She was most impressed with the ...

Your October's Sky — By Ear and Eye!

Sky & Telescope
To get a personally guided tour of these sights and others, like this year's better-than-average showing of the orionid meteor shower, download this month's ...

Search the skies for eye-catching events this fall

Edson Leader
There are also several meteor showers occurring in the coming weeks. They include the Draconids on Oct. 8, the Leonids Nov. 16 and 17 and the Geminids Dec. ...

Water Ice: Not Just for Earthlings Any More

In fact, it seems that every time a meteorite strikes the surface of Mars, a layer of water ice forms on the surface. This discovery came about when ...

29 September 2009

India Meteorite News- Orissa Revisited 29SEP09

Meteorite strikes Indian village

CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/09/28/india.meteorite/

Sunday, September 28, 2003 Posted: 1108 GMT ( 7:08 PM HKT)

BHUBANESWAR, India -- Two people have been injured and several homes badly damaged by a suspected meteorite crashing into a village in eastern India, reports said Sunday.

The fiery object crashed to earth shortly after sunset Saturday in the coastal state of Orissa, the Press Trust of India reported.

Witnesses reported a bright fireball briefly lighting up the night sky and causing panic among local residents, the PTI report said.

Reports from several districts described an ear spitting noise that shattered several windows as the object sped overhead.

At least one part of the fireball came down in a village in Mayurbhanj district, setting several homes alight and lightly injuring at least two people.

The report said other parts of the suspected meteorite may have crashed into another village, also setting at least one thatched house ablaze.

Officials in the area have been asked to collect any remaining samples of the object for scientific analysis.

The PTI quoted local meteorological and space experts as saying the object was most likely a meteor.

Hundreds of small objects strike the Earth's atmosphere every day, creating what are commonly known as shooting stars or, more properly, meteors.

However, all but a few burn up or explode well before they hit the ground as a result of the friction caused by entering the Earth's atmosphere at speeds in excess of 10,000 kilometers an hour.

Those few rocks that do survive the fiery journey are known as meteorites.

Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK

Meteorite wrecks houses in India

At least 20 people are reported to have been injured after a meteorite crashed to Earth in eastern India.

Reports say hundreds of people in the state of Orissa panicked when the fireball streamed across the sky.

Burning fragments were said to have fallen over a wide area, destroying several houses.

An official in Orissa said the authorities were assessing the damage and trying to recover what was left of the meteor.

Reports from Kendrapara district in Orissa, where the meteor came to Earth, said windows rattled as it passed overhead.

"It was all there for just a few seconds but it was like daylight everywhere," one resident said.


Experts estimate about 100 tons of extraterrestrial dust grains fall to earth each day.

Occasionally, a dark pebble or fist-size object will rain down, with boulder-sized objects or bigger being a historical rarity.

The only recorded fatality from a meteor was an Egyptian dog that had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1911.

Seven decades later, scientists recognised the dog had been struck by a meteorite from Mars.

Kendrapara, formerly also known as Orissa.

An H4-5.

Bolide News- Fireball as "Bright as the Sun" Seen 29SEP09

"Pacific" Fireball as "Bright as the Sun" Seen
Distant event on horizon occured at 0226 hrs., the morning of Sept. 28,

Will marshal the Sentinel facts & measures and post composite with movie.
Could be over the Pacific Ocean off the North Coast of California at the
maximum range of this station.
(No evidence that this Bolide had spin or rotation too....)

Update pending.
Source and report: YCSentinel

Meteor/Meteorite News- 29SEP09

New York Times
The Red Planet May Be Better Known as the Wet One

New York Times
... looked like buckshot and powder burns on the surface of the planet, the scars left by a meteorite that struck sometime in the first half of last year. ...

Astronomer to Pope speaks tonight in Nashville

The Tennessean
An author as well as scholar and researcher, he is the curator of the Vatican meteorite collection. He studies the nature and evolution of small bodies in ...

From the International Herald Tribune

New York Times
Realizing that it was a fireball, the pilot, Archie Anderson, swerved the plane just in time to avoid a collision as a meteor plunged to earth in a trail of ...

Creen que cayó un meteorito en Mendoza

La Gaceta Tucumán - Tucumán,Argentina
Las autoridades de Mendoza y de La Pampa aún no brindaron información oficial, pero se especula con el ingreso a la atmósfera de un meteorito o de "basura ...

Large ball of white falls from sky, seen in Ottawa and Toronto areas

Sault Star
It's possible," said Richard Herd, a spokesman for the meteorites and impacts advisory committee, a group of Canadian geologists and astronomers that ...
See all stories on this topic

He says he saw meteor land

Toronto Sun
By DON PEAT, SUN MEDIA While he can't find any sign of it now, Whitby resident Allen Plourde is convinced he saw Friday night's meteor hit near a high ...
See all stories on this topic
Meteor lit up the night

Toronto Sun
Attwood said the meteoroid – which would either be a meteor if it broke apart in the atmosphere or a meteorite if it hit the ground – could have been ...

Student Life
In pursuit of life, Mars rovers continue search for water

Student Life
The rover is currently situated against a half-ton meteorite composed of iron and nickel. Scientists are currently studying weathering on the meteorite. ...

Students learn about NASA's training in Arizona

Prescott Daily Courier
When the Apollo astronauts first trained in the 1960s for their famous moonwalk, they trained in Meteor Crater, east of Flagstaff and only one hour from ...


TechWeb - Beijing,China
阿拉巴马州陨石来袭* D* @2 ^7 \2 Q/ q/ B6 E7 s 1954年11月30日下午,美国阿拉巴马州塔拉迪加郡居民发现一个燃烧的物体(一颗陨石)从天空快速坠落。 ...

Martian water found on Mars

ABC Online
Just days after the discovery of water on the moon, NASA has found new evidence of Martian water exposed on the surface by meteor impacts. ...
See all stories on this topic
Venus visible early Thursday

Akron Beacon Journal
The Orionid meteor shower peaks on Oct. 21, but up to 20 meteors an hour might be seen in the early morning hours from Oct. 20-24. ...
See all stories on this topic
BBC News
Iran has tested two short-range missiles and announced plans for a ...

BBC News
Iran says the Shahab-3 (Meteor-3), which was first tested in July 2008, can fly some 2000km, which makes it capable of hitting Israel and US bases in the ...
Impact on moon might not be out of sight

The Durango Herald
You won't need a scope for a predawn show on Oct. 21, when the Orionid meteor show peaks. The Orionids occur when Earth passes through Halley's comet's ...

28 September 2009

Argentina Meteor/Meteorite News- Large Meteor Witnessed; Meteorites? 27SEP09 28SEP09

Argentina meteor 27SEP09 photo by Pablo Cagnaso

Creen que cayó un meteorito en General Alvear
Creen que cayó un meteorito en General Alvear

Los Andes (Argentina) - Mendoza,Argentina
Investigan si se trata de un meteorito o sólo "basura espacial". Una gran cantidad de pobladores de la zona de General Alvear aseguró que ayer a la tarde ...

Siguen las repercusiones por la caída de un meteorito

MDZol - Mendoza,Argentina
Una singular marca en el cielo, producto supuestamente de la caída de un meteorito, pudo verse durante el atardecer de ayer -apenas pasadas las 19 - dentro ...

Un meteorito cayó en General Alvear

MDZol - Mendoza,Argentina
Decenas de testigos vieron un meteorito. MDZ consultó varias fuentes y todas coinciden en sus versiones generales. Se vio una gigantesca bola de fuego, ... (more; with photo of smoke trail, map)

Cayó un meteorito en General Alvear y provocó preocupación

JornadaOnline - Mendoza,Argentina
La caída de un meteorito provocó preocupación y expectativa en la tarde de ayer en General Alvear. El hecho se produjo pasadas las 19, cuando un número ...

Cayó un meteorito en Mendoza

Diario Panorama - Santiago del Estero,Argentina
Según las primeras evaluaciones de Defensa Civil y la palabra de decenas de testigos, se trataría de un meteorito. Roberto Trigues, jefe de Defensa Civil de ...

Yesterday, 19:22hs local time a fireball with explosion and Earth shake
was seen and felt betweeen Mendoza and La Pampa provinces in Argentina.

Please remember the Argentine law about meteorite falls. NO EXPORT IS
ALLOWED. If anywone want to came and search for it is OK but you can't
take the meteorites out of Argentina.

Some news (in spanish sorry):








P.S. 25 years without falls in Argentina and just after the new law 3
falls in less than two years. That's not fair :-(

27 September 2009

Canada Meteor/Meteorite News- Brilliant Ontario Meteor 26SEP09 27SEP09

Space visitor descends over southern Ontario

Instead, it was a fiery meteor that blasted into the atmosphere last night, streaking across the sky and wowing locals in southern portions of the province. ...

'An overwhelming experience,' local star-gazer says of seeing ...

Waterloo Record
Dust particles in the trails are the source for meteors. The size of a meteor, also called a shooting star, is usually between a grain of sand and a ...
See all stories on this topic

Meteor spotted over GTA

Toronto Star
Dempsey, an amateur astronomer, immediately identified the light as a meteor, or fireball. The meteor was spotted just after 9 pm by skywatchers across the ...
See all stories on this topic

"...“I saw something shoot across the sky. It was the size of a baseball,” said Armenti. It exploded in about six or seven pieces, but I didn’t hear any noise. It blew apart and then it just disappeared.”..."


Another Video: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/09/27/11154226.html

Eye witness reports and video: http://www.thenightskyguy.com/?p=1023

"..."It was far, far brighter than a full moon, and then disintegrated
into red chunks and pieces within seconds," he said...."




Meteor/Meteorite News- 27SEP09

Antarctic meteorites offer insights into history of early solar system

Space Ref (press release)
By Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Sun Editor Field researchers in Antarctica have returned with more than 17500 meteorites over the 30-plus years that the ...

Celestial landscape changes as winter hexagon rises

There will also be a nice meteor shower from the 20th through the 22nd of this month, called the Orionids. Caused by dust and debris spread out all along ...

Findings on moon and Mars are challenging long-held beliefs of ...

Kansas City Star
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted ice in five recently formed meteorite craters situated midway between the northern pole and the equator, ...

Esta semana la NASA reveló que en Marte y la Luna existe agua 99% pura

Diario Hoy (Ecuador) - Quito,Ecuador
En el caso de Marte, la NASA anunció que, según el estudio, en cráteres de meteoritos, entre el polo norte y el ecuador marciano, podría haber, ...

Video shows Earthâs place in galaxy
The Advocate Fri, 25 Sep 2009 22:22 PM PDT
Christian Life Academy students on Friday sat in a portable planetarium where they watched images depicting a meteorite crashing into the ground and destroying dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Sudbury: a geological wonder

Sudbury Star
About 1.85 billion years ago, a meteorite hit the ground where Sudbury lies and in just a few seconds produced a crater 200 kilometres in diametre. ...


新浪网 - Beijing,China
HiRISE相机在2008年11月1日拍到的这张照片显示的是一个新的直径8米的陨坑,它形成的时间在2008年1月26日前后,这次撞击让火星表面下的水冰露了出来。 ...

26 September 2009

Meteor/Meteorite News- Moon Water Map Image 26SEP09

Image of the Day Gallery

Water Detected at High Latitudes on the Moon

NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an instrument on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 mission, took this image of Earth's moon. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun, and illustrates the extent to which different materials are mapped across the side of the moon that faces Earth.

Small amounts of water were detected on the surface of the moon at various locations. This image illustrates their distribution at high latitudes toward the poles.

Blue shows the signature of water, green shows the brightness of the surface as measured by reflected infrared radiation from the sun and red shows an iron-bearing mineral called pyroxene.

- Photo and Text by NASA

Meteor/Meteorite News- 26SEP09

Water, Water Everywhere

ScienceBlogs (blog)
MRO has seen small fresh meteorite craters Mars - with depths of 1-3 meters. MRO's cameras are good enough to resolve these craters, and the coverage is ...

Water ahoy!

Deccan Herald
The water on the moon is supposed to have been the result of comet and meteorite activity or the impact of solar winds and it is fairly spread over the ...

On the road: 2009 Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show

Astronomy Magazine
Mike's talk is “Catch a Falling Star,” which can only be about meteorite collecting. Mike is an acknowledged expert in meteoritics who wrote a book about ...

Abbots Langley students touch the Moon

Watford Observer
Meteorites of different shapes and sizes formed part of the display and students were able to handle and study them, seeing obvious differences in the ...

Sweden Meteorite News- Muonionalusta Tonne Meteorite 26SEP09


Tonne Muonionalusta meteorite (Video link and English translation below)

Národní muzeum stěhovalo obří meteorit
Národní muzeum stěhovalo obří unikát. TUNOVÝ METEORIT

tn.cz - Czech Republic
Meteorit z niklového železa je jedním z největších vesmírných kamenů nalezených na Zemi. Jeho objevitel, dobrodruh Jiří Šimek ho našel tři sta kilometrů za ... (more)

ImTranslator 3.2P machine translation

National Museum moved giant unique. The tonne meteorite

Heavy giant found three years ago in Sweden by adventurer Jiri Simek. He wants his museum to donate. Vsebina Forwarders, special chodolezu and especially a lot of strong hands of a few men were needed for the removal of nearly ton meteorite Muonionalusta. On Friday, went to the National Museum, where he will admire until July next year. Of nickel iron meteorite is one of the largest space rocks found on Earth. Its discoverer, adventurer Jiri Simek he found three hundred kilometers above the Arctic Circle.

Rested two meters deep, I have found him three years ago in Sweden at a depth of two meters, which is unique because meteorites are usually found on the surface, "described the meteorite finder Jiri Simek. The stone is also the oldest piece of what ever managed to find. The ground fell from one million years. And it hit an iceberg, neroztříštil to small pieces.

It is probably a fragmented core of the asteroid was a meteorite, according to experts metal core of the asteroid, which is in conflict with the earth shattered into many pieces. Unique is now located in the foyer of the museum and become part of the new exhibition The story of planet Earth. Figure there will be a unique addition to 30 stone from Mars or the Moon. Discovered by him, while still only loaned to the National Museum, but now negotiations are underway for its donation.

25 September 2009

Meteor/Meteorite News- Moon and Mars with Water 26SEP09

Water galore on Moon and Mars

Scientific American
The new martian ice was detected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probe which spotted the ice in craters produced by recent meteorite impacts on the ...

India Meteor/Meteorite News- India Finds Lunar Water 25SEP09

India hails Moon mission 'find'

Chandrayaan 1 (ISRO)
India's Chandrayaan-1 probe carried US equipment to the Moon

India's inaugural Moon mission has been hailed as a "grand success" by the head of India's space agency, after helping find evidence of water on the Moon.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief G Madhavan Nair said a spacecraft probe found more water on the Moon "than was expected."...


Meteor/Meteorite News- 25SEP09

NASA: Orbiter spots ice in Martian meteor craters

By Sharon Gaudin Computerworld - A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars has spotted exposed ice in five different spots on the Red Planet. ...

Метеориты обнажили мощный слой льда в средних широтах Марса

Новостной проект INFOX.ru - Москва,Russia
Помогли открытию удары метеоритов по марсианской поверхности. Летом прошлого года с Марса пришло долгожданное известие – космический аппарат Phoenix ...

Tunguska Meteorite Created Devil's Cemetery in Russia's Siberia

They say that ruinous energy of the place has something to do with the fall of the Tunguska meteorite. Within one decade, from 1980 till 1990, ...

Wired News
Sept. 25, 2002: Mysterious Meteorite Dazzles Siberia

Wired News
The meteorite had broken up before hitting the ground and left a score of craters, up to 65 feet in diameter. Nearby tree stumps were shattered or burned. ...

Did comet crashes help spark Earth life?
MSNBC Thu, 24 Sep 2009 15:48 PM PDT
Based on evidence from meteorite studies, researchers are simulating comet impacts to see if they might help proliferate the left-handedness in molecules that life on Earth depends upon.

Alex Nye: Not Quite Done with Route 66

East Aurora Advertiser
Continuing to Oatman from Holbrook, you will pass signs for the Meteor Crater. It is an honest-to-goodness crater created by a meteor, hence the name. ...
See all stories on this topic

Star Dust: Saturn Meets Venus at Dawn

The Free Press (press release)
The meteor shower called the Orionids is usually not spectacular, but this year appears promising for it. These meteors are caused by small pieces (dust, ...

Meteor/Meteorite News- Water Ice on Mars 25SEP09

Los Angeles Times
Ice on Mars more extensive than thought

Los Angeles Times
An orbiter spots ice in five meteorite craters. The planet's underground ice sheet could be twice the size of Greenland's, scientists say. ...


大纪元 - USA
负责操作高解析相机的HiRISE研究人员说,在这个新陨石坑洞内发现的冰纯度极高。 柏恩说:“以前我们都觉得是50%的沙尘与50%的冰,不过这次大概是1%的沙尘,99%的冰。 ...

Scientists see water ice in fresh meteorite craters on Mars

The hirise camera on nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of a new, 8-meter (26-foot)-diameter meteorite impact crater in the topographically ...

Impacto de meteoritos revela água congelada em Marte
Impacto de meteoritos revela água congelada em Marte

Site Inovação Tecnológica - Brazil
Meteoritos que atingiram recentemente a superfície de Marte revelaram depósitos de água congelada logo abaixo da superfície do planeta. ...

Agua en la Luna, hielo en Marte

El Norte de Castilla - Valladolid,Castilla y León,Spain
Pudieran ser provenientes de otros cuerpos externos como meteoritos o cometas impactados contra la superficie lunar u originadas en el interior del satélite ...


搜狐 - Beijing,China
此前曾有研究表明月球两极的陨石坑可能存在冰,但一直没能得到证实。 ... 其中之一便是NASA的“月球侦察者轨道器”,它已经记录了月球极地陨石坑中的最低温度是零下238 ...

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA Spacecraft Sees Ice on Mars Exposed by Meteor Impacts

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This map shows five locations where fresh impact cratering has excavated water ice from just beneath the surface of Mars. PASADENA, Calif. ...

Scientists see water ice in fresh meteorite craters on Mars

Eureka! Science News
"The other surprising discovery is that ice exposed at the bottom of these meteorite impact craters is so pure," Byrne said. "The thinking before was that ...

Scientific American
Meteorite impacts turn up nearly pure water ice in Mars's mid ...

Scientific American
By John Matson in 60-Second Science Blog Now a team of researchers has let meteorite impacts do the digging for them—a paper in this week's Science presents ...

Water Ice In Fresh Meteorite Craters On Mars

Science Daily (press release)
The spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet. Scientists controlling instruments on the ...

Water on Mars more extensive than thought
Los Angeles Times Thu, 24 Sep 2009 16:22 PM PDT
An orbiter spots ice in five meteorite craters. The planet's underground ice sheet could be twice the size of Greenland's, scientists say. There is much more water on Mars than anyone had thought -- possibly twice as much as in Greenland's ice sheet, scientists said Thursday.

NASA Orbiter Finds Ice In New Craters On Mars
redOrbit Thu, 24 Sep 2009 14:21 PM PDT
Image Caption: The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of a new, 8-meter (26-foot)-diameter meteorite impact crater in the topographically flat, dark plains within Vastitas Borealis, Mars, on November 1, 2008. The crater was made sometime after Jan. 26, 2008. Bright water ice was excavated by, and now surrounds, the crater. This entire image is 50 meters (164 feet ...

Scientists see water ice in fresh meteorite craters on Mars
SpaceRef Thu, 24 Sep 2009 13:32 PM PDT
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

Ice on Mars revealed in fresh craters
CBC.ca Thu, 24 Sep 2009 12:20 PM PDT
Fresh meteorite impacts on Mars have revealed ice under the surface far closer to the Martian equator than astronomers expected to find it.

Cosmic Log: Water found (and lost) on Mars
MSNBC Thu, 24 Sep 2009 11:18 AM PDT
Science editor Alan Boyle's Weblog: Researchers spot fresh water ice that was thrown up by meteorite impacts on Mars â and then happily watch it disappear.

Meteorite impacts turn up nearly pure water ice in Mars's mid-latitudes
Scientific American Thu, 24 Sep 2009 11:18 AM PDT
Planetary scientists looking for water ice on Mars have employed a number of tactics to great success in their search. The Phoenix lander dug it up ; orbiting radar measurements have seen it under insulating blankets of debris. ( Frozen water sublimates to vapor in Mars's climate and so is not stable when exposed at the surface.) [More]


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed
frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The
spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites
excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

Scientists controlling instruments on the orbiter found bright ice
exposed at five Martian sites with new craters that range in depth
from approximately 1.5 feet to 8 feet. The craters did not exist in
earlier images of the same sites. Some of the craters show a thin
layer of bright ice atop darker underlying material. The bright
patches darkened in the weeks following initial observations, as the
freshly exposed ice vaporized into the thin Martian atmosphere. One
of the new craters had a bright patch of material large enough for
one of the orbiter's instruments to confirm it is water ice.

The finds indicate water ice occurs beneath Mars' surface halfway
between the north pole and the equator, a lower latitude than
expected in the Martian climate.

"This ice is a relic of a more humid climate from perhaps just several
thousand years ago," said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona.

Byrne is a member of the team operating the orbiter's High Resolution
Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE camera, which captured the
unprecedented images. Byrne and 17 co-authors report the findings in
the Sept. 25 edition of the journal Science.

"We now know we can use new impact sites as probes to look for ice in
the shallow subsurface," said Megan Kennedy of Malin Space Science
Systems in San Diego, a co-author of the paper and member of the team
operating the orbiter's Context Camera.

During a typical week, the Context Camera returns more than 200 images
of Mars that cover a total area greater than California. The camera
team examines each image, sometimes finding dark spots that fresh,
small craters make in terrain covered with dust. Checking earlier
photos of the same areas can confirm a feature is new. The team has
found more than 100 fresh impact sites, mostly closer to the equator
than the ones that revealed ice.

An image from the camera on Aug. 10, 2008, showed apparent cratering
that occurred after an image of the same ground was taken 67 days
earlier. The opportunity to study such a fresh impact site prompted a
look by the orbiter's higher resolution camera on Sept. 12, 2009,
confirming a cluster of small craters.

"Something unusual jumped out," Byrne said. "We observed bright
material at the bottoms of the craters with a very distinct color. It
looked a lot like ice."

The bright material at that site did not cover enough area for a
spectrometer instrument on the orbiter to determine its composition.
However, a Sept. 18, 2008, image of a different mid-latitude site
showed a crater that had not existed eight months earlier. This
crater had a larger area of bright material.

"We were excited about it, so we did a quick-turnaround observation,"
said co-author Kim Seelos of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Laboratory in Laurel, Md., "Everyone thought it was water ice, but it
was important to get the spectrum for confirmation."

The Mars orbiter is designed to facilitate coordination and quick
response by the science teams, making it possible to detect and
understand rapidly changing features. The ice exposed by fresh
impacts suggests that NASA's Viking 2 lander, digging into
mid-latitude Mars in 1976, might have struck ice if it had dug four
inches deeper.

The Viking 2 mission, which consisted of an orbiter and a lander,
launched in September 1975 and became one of the first two space
probes to land successfully on the Martian surface. The Viking 1 and
2 landers characterized the structure and composition of the
atmosphere and surface. They also conducted on-the-spot biological
tests for life on another planet.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena manages the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in
Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the
spacecraft. The Context Camera was built and is operated by Malin.
The University of Arizona operates the HiRISE camera, which Ball
Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colo., built. The Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory led the effort to build
the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer and operates it in
coordination with an international team of researchers.

To view images of the craters and learn more about the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit:


Sept. 24, 2009

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

RELEASE: 09-224


FROM: Lori Stiles (520-626-4402; lstiles@u.arizona.edu)


Scientists are seeing sub-surface water ice that may be 99 percent pure
halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars, thanks to
quick-turnaround observations from orbit of fresh meteorite impact
craters on the planet.

"We knew there was ice below the surface at high latitudes of Mars, but
we find that it extends far closer to the equator than you would think,
based on Mars' climate today," said Shane Byrne of the University of
Arizona, a member of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or
HiRISE, which runs the high-resolution camera on NASA's Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter.

"The other surprising discovery is that ice exposed at the bottom of
these meteorite impact craters is so pure," Byrne said. "The thinking
before was that ice accumulates below the surface between soil grains,
so there would be a 50-50 mix of dirt and ice. We were able to figure
out, given how long it took that ice to fade from view, that the mixture
is about one percent dirt and 99 percent ice."

Scientists used several instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter,
or MRO, in quick succession in detecting and confirming highly pure,
bright ice exposed in new craters, ranging from 1.5 feet to 8 feet deep,
at five different Martian sites.

In August 2008, the orbiter's Context camera team examined their images
for any dark spots or other changes that weren't visible in earlier
images of the same area. Meteorites usually leave dark marks when they
crash into dust-covered Mars terrain.

The HiRISE team, which bases its operations at the UA Lunar and
Planetary Laboratory, followed up in September 2008 by taking
high-resolution images of the dark spots.

"We saw something very unusual when we followed up on the first of these
impact craters," Byrne said, "and that was this bright blue material
poking up from the bottom of the crater. It looked a lot like water ice.
And sure enough, when we started monitoring this material, it faded away
like you'd expect water ice to fade, because water ice is unstable on
Mars' surface and turns directly into water vapor in the atmosphere."

A few days later that September, the orbiter's "CRISM" team used their
Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars and got the
spectral signature of water ice exposed in one of the impact craters,
further clinching the discovery.

"All of this had to happen very quickly because 200 days after we first
saw the ice, it was gone, it was the color of dirt," Byrne said. "If we
had taken HiRISE images just a few months later, we wouldn't have
noticed anything unusual. This discovery would have just passed us by."

Byrne and 17 co-authors are reporting the findings in the Sept. 25
edition of the journal Science.

How far water ice extends toward the equator depends largely on how much
water has been available in the Martian atmosphere in the recent past,
Byrne said: "The ice is a relic of a more humid climate not very long
ago, perhaps just several thousand years ago."

The Phoenix Mars Lander mission last year also found clean ice at its
landing site on the northern plains of Mars, Byrne noted.

But to find highly pure ice far closer to the equator because of random
meteor impacts was unexpected, he said.

There are several theories about how a layer of such pure ice could have
formed beneath Mars surface. Byrne said he thinks that one of the most
promising ideas is that this ice on Mars formed in the same way that
pure ice lenses form beneath the surface of the Earth.

"That's where you have very thin films of liquid water around ice grains
and soil grains and they migrate around to form clear ice lenses on top
of the ice table, even at temperatures well below zero. This process is
called 'frost heave' on Earth, and it's considered a nuisance in most
places because it cracks up roads and tilts walls and destroys
foundations of houses.

"But on Mars it would be of great interest if we could discover a
process that involved liquid water in today's climate, and not just in
some of the warmest areas of the planet but in some of the coldest areas
of the planet in the high latitude regions," Byrne said.

In the past decade, researchers from UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
have played major roles in piecing together the picture of where water
is to be found on Mars:

* Professor Alfred McEwen, a co-author on the Sept. 25 Science paper, is
principal investigator for HiRISE, which began imaging Mars in November
2006. At this time, the HiRISE Web site features more than 577processed
pictures of Martian water features among thousands of pictures of
features on the surface of the planet.

* Professor William Boynton developed the Gamma Ray Spectrometer
instrument package on Mars Odyssey that detected water ice near the
Martian poles in 2001.

* Phoenix Mars Lander principal investigator Peter Smith headed the
mission that used a long robotic arm to uncover and confirm the shallow
ice table at its landing site, and other instruments to document
snowfall and ground frost at its high polar latitude. The Phoenix Mars
Mission began science operations on the northern plains of Mars after
landing May 25, 2008, and lasted five months, until winter arrived.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is managed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, for
NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The University of Arizona operates the High Resolution Imaging Science
Experiment, which operates the HiRISE camera built by Ball Aerospace &
Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The Context
Camera is operated by and was provided by Malin Space Science Systems.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory led the effort
to build the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars and
operates it in coordination with an international team of researchers.


Shane Byrne (520-626-0407; shane@lpl.arizona.edu)
Alfred McEwen (520-621-4573; mcewen@lpl.arizona.edu)