PHOTOS: Mars Lander Takes First ''Self Portraits''

PHOTOS: Mars Lander Transmits Historic Photos
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A naturally occurring polygonal pattern stands out in the red Martian soil in an image compiled shortly after touchdown on May 25, 2008, by the Phoenix Mars Lander's onboard camera.

Similar patterns in the terrain around Earth's poles are formed as permafrost thaws and refreezes with the seasons. Digging into the trenches around Mars's polygons should reveal whether they are filled with wedges of ice or sand.

Ice wedges would mean that water ice sometimes melts and pools in the crackslong-awaited proof that liquid water recently flowed on Mars.

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—Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
 
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