Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Renno in the New York Times

Posted: July 15, 2014

Professor Renno in the New York Times

Professor Nilton Renno’s research on liquid water on Mars was the subject of a recent New York Times article titled, “Recreating Mars in a Lab, and Finding Water.”

“By recreating Martian conditions in his laboratory, Dr. Renno has demonstrated that the globules captured by the [Phoenix] lander could have been water and that small amounts of liquid water could be forming on Mars today,” the article states.

Renno’s experiments are among the first to test theories about how liquid water could exist in a climate as cold as Mars’.

The researchers found that a type of salt present in Martian soil can readily melt ice it touches – just like salts do on Earth’s slippery winter walkways and roads. But this Martian salt cannot, as some scientists suggested, form liquid water by sucking vapor out of the air through a process called deliquescence.

To read the full article, please visit the New York Times.

(Photo: Erik Fischer, AERO PhD Student and AOSS Researcher, sets up a Mars Atmospheric Chamber in the Space Research Building. Taken by Joseph Xu of Michigan Engineering.)

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