This color image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 19th day of the mission, or Sol 19 (June 13, 2008), after the May 25, 2008, landing. This image shows one trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" after two digs (dug on Sol 18, or June 12, 2008) by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. The trench is 22 centimeters (8.7 inches) wide and 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) long. At its deepest point, the trench is 7 to 8 centimeters (2.7 to 3 inches) deep.
White material, possibly ice, is located only at the upper portion of the trench, indicating that it is not continuous throughout the excavated site. According to scientists, the trench might be exposing a ledge, or only a portion of a slab, of the white material.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University