Elated scientists probing the arctic surface of Mars with their newly landed Phoenix spacecraft said Saturday they are convinced they have found a bright and shiny layer of genuine ice only inches beneath the Martian soil and directly under the body of the lander itself.
“It’s the consensus of all of us that we have found ice,” said Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, as he talked to reporters in a conference call only six days after Phoenix landed safely from Earth. “It’s shiny and smooth – it’s absolutely astounding!”
Yeah, well you won’t be so thrilled when you inadvertantly unleash the dormant ice beasts of Mars, will you?
And said scientists prove they have a real refined sense of humor about their work, too:
The scientists on the Phoenix team have given fanciful names to small patches of the surface where they plan to dig into the soil. One, for instance, is called Humpty Dumpty, and King of Hearts is another. But this presumed ice patch bears a much more exciting moniker.
Its name is “Holy Cow!” Smith said.