This 360-degree panorama was created from images taken on sols 1 and 3 by Phoenix's Stereo Surface Imager (SSI) camera. They show a "hummocky terrain," with slight bumps and troughs caused by the expansion and contraction of ice just under the surface.
Phoenix will use its scoop to dig as far as 20 inches into the Martian soil, where scientists hope to discovery evidence of liquid water and organic substances-- ingredients necessary for microbial life on Earth, and also to look for evidence that in these far, northern plains Mars might have been warmer and wet in the past.
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