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Astronomy

Ice confirmed on Mars, ethane lake on Titan

A sample of soil being analyzed by NASA's Phoenix Mars lander let out a puff of vapor, providing final confirmation that the lander is sitting over a large chunk of ice.

Full story from New York Times.

Meanwhile, after circling Saturn for years, the Cassini spacecraft finally has solid evidence that a large, flat area near Titan's south pole is almost certainly liquid ethane. This hydrocarbon-filled lake, nicknamed Ontario Lacus by the mission's scientists, covers roughly 7,800 square miles (20,000 square km), slightly larger than Lake Ontario in North America.

Full story from Sky and Telescope.