This picture shows a cross-sectional cartoon of a flat, sandy surface on top of a buried, undulating layer of sand and ice crystals. Above the surface, a cylindrical instrument aims a beam of neutrons into the ground at two different spots. Above the spot where the ice-rich layer is close to the surface is a cloud of dots representing neutrons escaping from the surface of Mars into the atmosphere. Above the ice-free layer is a much sparser scattering of neutrons escaping from the surface.

February 16, 2009

Water, whether liquid or frozen, absorbs neutrons more than other substances. The Detector of Albedo Neutrons on the Mars Science Laboratory rover will use this characteristic to search for subsurface ice on Mars.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Russian Federal Space Agency


NASA/JPL-Caltech/Russian Federal Space Agency


You Might Also Like