I'm looking around and hoping to be able to add a Mars Phoenix Mission weather graphic to my astronomy Web sites — something that updates daily. So far, only a desktop widget for Windows Vista computers –not what I want– is available. The Phoenix lander sits at what would be the Martian arctic circle. The mission is limited to only about 92 days because, even as it sits there in Mars's summer season, the high temperature never exceeds something like 20 degrees (F) below zero and, at night, well, your ice cream would never melt. EVER! They tell us that, as winter sets in on Mars, the Phoenix lander will become entombed in snow and ice –mostly frozen carbon dioxide– effectively "killing" the immobile robot about three (Earth) months from now. When summer returns to the northern regions of Mars, the lander will be exposed again. The solar panels will generate electricity again. And NASA will listen. There is a small chance Phoenix will stir back to life and, if it does, her handlers don't want to miss it! In the mean time we sit and watch the show from warmer climes and marvel.
Ice cream wouldn't melt, but it would probably sublime away to nothing in that arid Martian breeze.
Yeah, my favorite double-chocolate might not be delightful after a while… besides being completely coated with all that danged dust! — JG