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No Signs of Water Yet from Mars Lander

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

In its first chemical analysis of soil from Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix lander has turned up no evidence of water, scientists said Monday.

Still, researchers remained confident that the craft is in the right place to uncover veins of ice believed to lie only inches beneath the surface.

A soil sample was cooked twice in one of Phoenix's eight ovens over the last few days, according to William Boynton, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. ... "Had there been any ice, it would have melted," Boynton said. "We saw no water in the soil whatsoever."

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PODCASTS: Expanding With the Cosmos

Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.

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