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HEND Maps of Fast Neutrons
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HEND Maps of Fast Neutrons

October 8, 2009
Observations by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft show a global view of Mars in high-energy, or fast, neutrons. These maps are based on data acquired by the high-energy neutron detector, one of the instruments in the gamma ray spectrometer suite. Fast neutrons, like epithermal neutrons, are sensitive to the presence of hydrogen. Unlike epithermal neutrons, however, they are not affected by the presence of carbon dioxide, which at the time of these observations covered the north polar area as 'dry ice' frost. The low flux of fast neutrons (blue and purple colors) in the north polar region suggests an abundance of hydrogen in the soil comparable to that determined in the south from the flux of epithermal neutrons. These observations were acquired during the first two months of mapping operations. Contours of topography are superimposed on these maps for geographic reference