pia21438

Loss of Carbon in Martian Atmosphere Explained

Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere — one that is far too thin to keep water from freezing or quickly evaporating. However, geological evidence has led scientists to conclude that ancient Mars was once a warmer, wetter place than it is today. To produce a more temperate climate, several researchers have Read More

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NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Heads Toward Active Dunes

On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars’ environment changed billions of years ago, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity at mobile sand dunes. The dark band in the lower portion of this Martian scene is part of Read More

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Fine-Branched Ridges on Mars

This image shows numerous branching ridges with various degrees of sinuosity. These branching forms resemble tributaries funneling and draining into larger channel trunks towards the upper portion of the scene. The raised relief of these branching ridges suggests that these are ancient channels are inverted due to lithification and cementation of the riverbed sediment, which Read More

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Mars Panorama from Curiosity Shows Petrified Sand Dunes

Some of the dark sandstone in an area being explored by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows texture and inclined bedding structures characteristic of deposits that formed as sand dunes, then were cemented into rock. A panorama from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) that includes a ridge made of this sandstone is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA19818 This sandstone Read More

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Team Confirms Ancient Lakes on Mars

A new study from the team behind NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity has confirmed that Mars was once, billions of years ago, capable of storing water in lakes over an extended period of time. Using data from the Curiosity rover, the team has determined that, long ago, water helped deposit sediment into Gale Crater, where the Read More

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NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They Read More

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The Fact and Fiction of Martian Dust Storms

For years, science fiction writers from Edgar Rice Burroughs to C. S. Lewis have imagined what it would be like for humans to walk on Mars. As mankind comes closer to taking its first steps on the Red Planet, authors’ depictions of the experience have become more realistic.  Andy Weir’s “The Martian” begins with a Read More

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Mars Panorama from Curiosity Shows Petrified Sand Dunes

Some of the dark sandstone in an area being explored by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows texture and inclined bedding structures characteristic of deposits that formed as sand dunes, then were cemented into rock. A panorama from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) that includes a ridge made of this sandstone is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA19818 This sandstone Read More

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NASA Mars Rover Moves Onward After ‘Marias Pass’ Studies

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is driving toward the southwest after departing a region where for several weeks it investigated a geological contact zone and rocks that are unexpectedly high in silica and hydrogen content. The hydrogen indicates water bound to minerals in the ground. In this “Marias Pass” region, Curiosity successfully used its drill to Read More

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NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Studies Rock-Layer Contact Zone

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is examining a valley where at least two types of bedrock meet, for clues about changes in ancient environmental conditions recorded by the rock. In addition to two rock types for which this site was chosen, the rover has found a sandstone with grains of differing shapes and color. Curiosity’s international Read More