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24 votes

Is this white stuff seen by the Mars Phoenix Lander water or carbon dioxide ice?

It turns out there is a paper that discusses this exact ice patch: it's water ice, and they're referring to the white section at the top. (The small granules in the lower left may also be water ice, ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Would the reflected sun's radiation melt ice in LEO?

Would the reflected sun's radiation melt ice in LEO? This is an elegant question and an interesting challenge because though very simple to ask requires a lot of real, practical spaceflight ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
21 votes
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How tall are Pluto's mountains? Are they the tallest ice features in the Solar System?

How tall are these things? Are they made of ice? Are they the tallest things on Pluto? Are these the tallest ice features in the Solar System? "New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s ...
ceejayoz's user avatar
  • 1,288
12 votes

How hard is the hardest ice in the solar system? Is it in Pluto's ice mountains?

1. Diamond. Its hardness is legendary. That it appears in liquid form on Uranus or Neptune hasn't been directly measured (no recent probes), but lab measurements in 2009 and 2010 of diamond's phase ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
12 votes
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Choosing a specific region to live on Mars, how important will the degree of dust there be, compared with the availability of water?

Water is extremely useful on Mars. You can use it to generate oxygen directly via electrolysis and the hydrogen byproduct can be reacted with carbon dioxide to make even more water. We drink water. ...
user2702772's user avatar
  • 1,074
11 votes

Would it be possible to send a nuclear bomb to Europa and make a hole in the ice of more than 11 km?

You may not send a nuclear bomb into space if you're one of the 105 countries that have signed the Outer Space Treaty that, among other things, forbids deploying nuclear weapons or any other kinds ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
11 votes
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If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

Ice sublimates. So does rock. Yet the planet Mercury is still there. The reason Mercury still exists is because even though rock does indeed sublimate, the rate at which rock sublimates is extremely ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why were there so many icicles in this Space Shuttle launch area? (Challenger disaster)

Knowing the weather forecast, the pad crews drained the water pipes or left them running to prevent them freezing and bursting. With sub-freezing temperatures predicted, ground crews drained most ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes

Where exactly are those eight steep slopes on Mars revealing structures of buried ice?

Scarp #1: According to this NASA information, this specific scarp is located at 56.6 degrees South latitude, 114.1 degrees East longitude. This picture was taken on May 7, 2011. I went to Google ...
8 votes

What forms of water ice have been observed and verified in the solar system?

Actually, Ice VII has been discovered in diamonds on Earth. The water is first trapped in the diamond as the latter is formed deep in the mantle. Then when the diamond cools at the surface its rigid ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,525
7 votes

Where exactly are those eight steep slopes on Mars revealing structures of buried ice?

Table S1 in the supplement of this article in Science gives the locations of the 7 scarps in the southern hemisphere and the multiple scarps in Milankovic crater north of Olympus Mons. Scarp 1 to 7 ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,535
7 votes
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What forms of water ice have been observed and verified in the solar system?

The only form of ice that we see naturally in bulk on Earth is Ice I, all within the sub-h variety. There's no place on Earth that gets cold enough for any other form--but that's not necessarily true ...
Justin Eiler's user avatar
7 votes
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How much ice is there in the inner asteroid belt?

About 250 Trillion Metric Tonnes At first glance, this is a tough question. There's a lot we don't know about the composition of asteroids in the asteroid belt. Additionally, the frost line is very ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,693
6 votes

Is this white stuff seen by the Mars Phoenix Lander water or carbon dioxide ice?

tl;dr: The slow sublimation rate over 4 days rules out CO2 as the primary component (which would have sublimated much more quickly when exposed to the warm-ish atmosphere and sunlight), and careful ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
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Has the HP$^3$ on the Insight lander actually a probe to detect water and ice in the subsurface of Mars?

If HP³ detects water, it will be done indirectly through thermal conductivity or specific heat. It has no sensor that directly detects water, such as a chromatograph or mass spectrometer (nor room ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
6 votes

If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

You overestimate vapor pressure and underestimate dust power source 0.05 Pa it equivalent to a layer 0.000018382 m of dust which would (if it being a sealant) to prevent the ice from further ...
MolbOrg's user avatar
  • 368
5 votes

If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

It is of course sublimating. And not only is it cold, but the sublimation cools the remaining ice even further. Since it's in lunar dust, chances are additionally that a sublimated water molecule ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 1,644
5 votes

Why not land near the poles of Mars for extracting water?

The problem with the Martian Polar areas is that Mars has an axial tilt slightly greater than Earth's and a much longer year. This means that any probe going to a polar area would suffer a very severe ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 9,480
4 votes
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Would snow fall on the surface of Mars because of uncovering the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia?

Actually it already snows on Mars. The snow, made of carbon dioxide, has been observed and studied by orbiting spacecraft. Aside from the different chemical composition from the stuff we shovel on ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,525
4 votes

How old is the oldest water ice in Mars' polar caps?

According to this paper by Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, IPSL, CNRS, Université Paris, Mars undergoes cycles of colder and warmer climate, as the orbital obliquity cycles over a period of ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Would a large impactor on an ice moon cause a thinning of the ice surface?

In short: not as much as you might think. All moons with water ice shells over liquid water oceans, and even those with no liquid water oceans but warmer and thus less rigid ice beneath a cold ice ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
  • 18.3k
4 votes

How large could manmade, domeshaped caves inside the ice dome in Korolev crater on Mars become without the danger of collapsing?

More of a comment, but I need the space. Firstly, are you sure about the temperature of the ice being minus 5° C? That's just below freezing temperature and very close to melting temperature. Using ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
4 votes

Would it be possible to send a nuclear bomb to Europa and make a hole in the ice of more than 11 km?

You'd have to bring a pretty large bomb to do this. We've detonated lots of bombs on Earth, and none of them came close to making a hole 11 km deep. We even did tests specifically aimed at making ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
4 votes

What will be the most cost-effective way to remove and collect the subsurface ice on Mars?

We need to learn more about the nature of the water ice deposits at the site chosen for human exploration. It is likely that the ice is contaminated with a range of different materials such as ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 9,480
4 votes

How much ice from the most suitable icy moon(let) could a spacecraft, launched with an SLS Block 2, transport to the upper atmosphere of Venus?

Almost none, to be honest, using the method you propose. SLS can carry approximately 6 tons to Jupiter using a direct route (Based on Europa Clipper). To then land, cut, and re-launch would lead to a ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
3 votes

How much ice from the most suitable icy moon(let) could a spacecraft, launched with an SLS Block 2, transport to the upper atmosphere of Venus?

Let's compare it to a mission that did almost exactly that: The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sampling mission. OSIRIS-REx flew from Earth to a destination closer than any of the possible icy moons or asteroids,...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
3 votes

Where do ice giants contain ice?

We can probe this matter a little more in-depth. This introductory reference describes all the giant or Jovian planets, noting that only the two more massive ones, Jupiter and Saturn, are made ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,525
2 votes
Accepted

How old is the oldest water ice in Mars' polar caps?

There are no direct measurements of this, but the caps are probably only a few million years old. All we have are estimated cratering ages, which indicate the surfaces of the polar caps are very young,...
Norbert S's user avatar
  • 144
2 votes

If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

I just ran across this reference again while writing this comment (same one as I mentioned here so I thought I would add it to the mix explicitly. The paper is quite thorough and interesting, and I ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes

What about gathering water ice from Saturn's rings?

I can't see how Saturn would ever beat Ceres as a source of water for inner solar system applications. You need a railgun or something to get things off Ceres and some way of cutting chunks of ice out ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k

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