Curious Mars

Recently in the Mars Category


In Jessica Barnes' palm is an ancient, coin-sized mosaic of glass, minerals and rocks as thick as a strand of wool fiber. It is a slice of Martian meteorite, known as Northwest Africa 7034 or Black Beauty, that was formed when a huge impact cemented together various pieces of Martian crust.

Organic compounds called thiophenes are found on Earth in coal, crude oil and oddly enough, in white truffles, the mushroom beloved by epicureans and wild pigs.

Briny water may form on the surface of Mars a few days per year, research by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Norbert Schorghofer shows.

Mars' Water Was Mineral-rich And Salty

Presently, Earth is the only known location where life exists in the Universe.

Mars has a thin (6 mbar) CO2 atmosphere currently. There is strong evidence for paleolakes and rivers formed by warm climates on Mars, including after 3.5 billion years (Ga) ago, which indicates that a CO2 atmosphere thick enough to permit a warm climate was present at these times.

Keith's note: I was on Deutsche Welle TV today talking about the Mars 2020 rover mission and its implications for Astrobiology.

MAVEN Maps Winds In Mars' Upper Atmosphere

Researchers have created the first map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of a planet besides Earth, using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft that were collected during the last two years.

New Map Of Water Ice on Mars

A new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters will help by providing a map of water ice believed to be as little as an inch (2.5 centimeters) below the surface.

As any geologist worth his or her salt will tell you, there are rocks, and then there are rocks. Next July, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are launching rovers to Mars that will search for signs of past microbial life, and to find them, the scientists with NASA's Mars 2020 mission and ESA's ExoMars will need to examine different kinds of rocks that lend compelling insights into the environment in which they were made -- all from 100 million miles away.

Scientists with NASA's Mars 2020 rover have discovered what may be one of the best places to look for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater, where the rover will land on Feb. 18, 2021.