Mars News

Study Reveals Ancient Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

June 16, 2015

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Early Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

Using a three-dimensional atmospheric circulation model to compare a water cycle on Mars under different scenarios 3 to 4 billion years ago, researchers at Harvard believe Mars was cold and icy billions of years ago – not warm, wet and Earth-like. Cambridge, Massachusetts – June 16, 2015 – The high seas of Mars may never […]

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Scientists Discover Evidence of Methane in Martian Meteorites

June 16, 2015

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Scientists Discover Methane in Mars Meteorites

A newly published study details the discovery of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet. The researchers examined samples from six meteorites of volcanic rock that originated on Mars. The meteorites contain gases in the same proportion and with the same isotopic composition as the Martian […]

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Detects Impact Glass on Mars

June 9, 2015

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Detects Impact Glass on Surface of Mars

Newly detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars could provide details into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, such deposits might provide a delicate window […]

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New HiRISE Image of a “Fresh” Crater Near Sirenum Fossae

June 5, 2015

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A Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae

This new image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a 1-kilometer wide impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a “fresh” (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in […]

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Researchers Predicted Blue, Red and Green Aurorae at Mars

May 29, 2015

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Blue Aurorae Visible in Martian Sky

Astronomers believe glowing aurorae of blue, with red and green hues would be visible to astronauts walking on Mars. For the first time, an international team of scientists from NASA, the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble (IPAG), the European Space Agency and Aalto University in Finland, have predicted that colorful, glowing aurorae can […]

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NIAC Program Working on Ideas for an Ecosystem on Mars

May 7, 2015

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Planting an Ecosystem on Mars

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program is funding cutting-edge work that is testing the viability of using ecosystem-building pioneer organisms to churn out oxygen by using Martian regolith. Taming the brutal environment of Mars for future human explorers to survive and thrive there may demand a touch of “ecopoiesis” – the creation of an ecosystem […]

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Scientists Find Evidence of Briny Water at Gale Crater

May 5, 2015

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Transient Liquid Water at Gale Crater

Data from NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals transient liquid water and water activity at Gale Crater on Mars. Fayatteville, Arkansas – Data collected on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover and analyzed by University of Arkansas researchers indicate that water, in the form of brine, may exist under certain conditions on the planet’s surface. The finding, published […]

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Indirect Evidence of Transient Liquid Water on Mars

April 14, 2015

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Curiosity Weather Data Bolsters Case for Brine

New calculations indicate favorable conditions for small quantities of brine to form during some nights throughout the year on Mars. The possibility for liquid brines on Mars has wider implications for habitability and geological water-related processes. Martian weather and soil conditions that NASA’s Curiosity rover has measured, together with a type of salt found in […]

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NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Completes 1,000th Orbit around Mars

April 9, 2015

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MAVEN Completes 1,000th Orbit around Mars

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft completed 1,000 orbits around the Red Planet on April 6, four-and-a-half months into its one-year primary mission. MAVEN is in its science mapping orbit and has been taking data since the start of its primary mission on Nov. 16, 2014. The furthest point in the spacecraft’s elliptical […]

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Satellite Observations Reveal Glaciers of Frozen Water on Mars

April 8, 2015

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Mars Has Glacier Belts Consisting of Frozen Water

Using satellite data, scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute have observed the shape of glaciers just below the surface of Mars. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than one meter […]

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HiRISE Images Reveal the Fading Scars of Mars Rover Landing

March 30, 2015

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Scars on Mars from 2012 Rover Landing Fade

A series of observations from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how dark blast zones from the Curiosity rover have faded inconsistently. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter made the observations on multiple dates from landing to last month. After fading for about two years, the pace of change […]

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A Geologic History of an Ancient Martian Lake System in Jezero Crater

March 26, 2015

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Ancient Martian Lake System Records Two Water-Related Events

Using NASA data, researchers from Brown University created a geologic history of flowing water on the surface of Mars. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Researchers from Brown University have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet’s equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water […]

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NASA Announces Progress on Asteroid Redirect Mission & Future Expeditions to Deep Space

March 26, 2015

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NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars and Progress on Asteroid Initiative

In a new press release, NASA details its Asteroid Redirect Mission and reveals that it has increased the detection of near-Earth asteroids by 65 percent since launching its asteroid initiative three years ago. For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable […]

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Curiosity Finds Evidence of Nitrates on Mars

March 24, 2015

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Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of nitrates in scooped samples of windblown sand and dust at the “Rocknest” site, providing further evidence that the ingredients needed for life were present on Mars billions of years ago. Nitrogen is essential for all known forms of life, since it is used in the building blocks of […]

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MAVEN Spacecraft Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

March 19, 2015

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MAVEN Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

New research being presented at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference details the discovery of an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that […]

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Curiosity Rover Delivers Rock Powder Sample

March 13, 2015

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Rover Delivers Mars Rock Powder Sample

After a temporary delay, the Curiosity Mars rover used its robotic arm to sieve and deliver a rock-powder sample to an onboard instrument. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) analytical instrument inside the rover received the sample powder. This sample comes from a rock target called “Telegraph Peak,” the third target drilled during about six months […]

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New Isotopic Measurements Reveal Mars Once Had More Water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean

March 6, 2015

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Mars Had More Water than the Arctic Ocean

New measurements by researchers at NASA reveal that an ocean once covered approximately twenty percent of the Martian surface, making Mars is considerably wetter than many previous estimates and raising the odds for the ancient habitability of the Red Planet. A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Drills at ‘Telegraph Peak’

February 26, 2015

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Curiosity Rover Drills at Telegraph Peak

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover drilled a small hole on February 24 to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called “Telegraph Peak,” which is located within the basal layer of Mount Sharp. The target sits in the upper portion of “Pahrump Hills,” an outcrop the mission has been investigating for five months. The Pahrump […]

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