Curious Mars

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Digging Deeper Into Mars

Water is the key to life on Earth. Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of life on Mars by investigating evidence of water in the planet's soil.

Chemicals found in Martian rocks by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover suggest the Red Planet once had more oxygen in its atmosphere than it does now.

The geologic shape of what were once shorelines through Mars' northern plains convinces scientists that two large meteorites - hitting the planet millions of years apart - triggered a pair of mega-tsunamis.

Perchlorate salts on Mars could allow liquid water to persist on the martian surface as brines, despite the cold and dry conditions.

The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the Martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually.

The bombardment of Mars some 4 billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life, at least for a time, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Groundwater circulation beneath a massive tectonic rift zone located along the flanks of some the solar system's largest volcanic plateaus resulted in the formation more than 3 billion years ago of some the deepest basins on Mars, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist J. Alexis Palmero Rodriguez.

The McMurdo Dry Valleys, located in the Antarctic Victoria Land, are considered to be the most similar earthly equivalent to Mars.

The climate of Mars likely evolved from a warmer, wetter early state to the cold, arid current state.

In a new paper published October 9, 2015, in the journal Science, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team presents recent results of its quest to not just follow the water but to understand where it came from, and how long it lasted on the surface of Mars so long ago.