Saturday, April 11, 2009

Real science: Meteorite impact craters expose Martian ice

Picture showing two blue patches of pure ice on Mars, exposed by surface dug up by meteor imapactNature: "two blue pools of ice exposed after small impacts last summer excavated craters five or six metres across and about 70 centimetres deep. (Little impacts like this happen quite often in Mars' thin atmosphere.)"

Makes me wonder living on Mars is going to be even harder than just fighting the elements - protecting against regular impacts of this power!

PS: Nature article later talks of usefulness of meteor impacts as hammers. There is a very interesting novel that explores this idea at great length: "Utopia" by Roger McBride Allen. A badly terraformed world is dying because thermal distribution is not happening right. Someone thinks the problem can be fixed by linking up northern seas with equatorial ones - they're'nt naturally connected here. How to do it economically, & in the few years or decades before the place becomes inhabitable? Use natural meteors & guide them as hammers hitting the necessary places to aid digging!

[via Bruce Sterling]