Photo: Mars Soil Resembles Veggie-Garden Dirt, Lander Finds



A microscopic view (inset) shows fluffy clumps of fine-grained soil on the robotic arm scoop of the Phoenix Mars Lander on June 20, 2008.

Preliminary results from the lander's wet chemistry lab show that soil near the planet's north pole has a pH and nutrient content similar to Earthly vegetable gardens.

Black-and-white image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute; soil closeup image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University


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