Showing posts with label mars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mars. Show all posts

Monday, January 9, 2017

Purple Rocks Found On Mars

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
This new image from the Mars Curiosity rover captures purple-colored rocks on the surface of lower Mount Sharp. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Space: NASA's Curiosity Rover Spots Purple Rocks on Mars

Mars may appear red when viewed from Earth, but NASA's Curiosity rover has captured an up-close photo of the planet's mountainous landscape, with purple-colored rocks littered across the foreground.

This remarkable new photo was captured near the base of Mars' Mount Sharp. The image's three frames were taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam)on Nov. 10.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: Purple rocks?!?!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Is The Mystery Light On Mars?

Life on Mars? In this photo taken by the Curiosity rover a light of unknown origin can be seen in the distance

What Is The Mystery Light On Mars? Distant 'Glow' Seen In Curiosity Rover's Latest Photo -- Daily Mail

* A new Nasa photo appears to show an artificial light on the Red Planet
* The image was taken by the Curiosity rover
* One UFO blogger claims it ‘could indicate there is intelligent life below’
* But it is more than likely just an anomaly in the photo
* Many false detections of life on Mars have been claimed before
* Meanwhile, Curiosity is set to study a fascinating Martian region

A strange white speck of 'light' on a recent photograph taken by Curiosity rover has led some to believe that life is thriving on Mars.

UFO blogger Scott Waring claims that the new photograph taken by the rover suggests there are intelligent creatures living underground.

But Nasa, perhaps rather unsurprisingly, are not quite heralding it as the discovery of the century just yet.

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My Comment: It's probably an anomaly in the photo ... but man-o-man ....  the speculation on the web is overwhelming.

Monday, November 18, 2013

NASA's MAVEN Mission Successfully Blasts Off To Solve Major Martian Mystery

NASA Launches Robotic Explorer To Mars -- Washington Post

CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA’s newest robotic explorer, Maven, rocketed toward Mars on Monday on a quest to unravel the ancient mystery of the red planet’s radical climate change.

The Maven spacecraft is scheduled to make it to Mars next fall following a journey of more than 440 million miles.

Scientists want to know why Mars went from being warm and wet during its first billion years to cold and dry today. The early Martian atmosphere was thick enough to hold water and possibly support microbial life. But much of that atmosphere may have been lost to space, eroded by the sun.

Maven set off through a cloudy sky Monday afternoon in its effort to provide answers. An unmanned Atlas V rocket propelled the spacecraft toward Mars, launch controllers applauded and shook hands over the success.

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Update: What happened to Mars' atmosphere? MAVEN now on way to find out. -- Christian Science Monitor

My Comment: We will get some answers one year from now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Evidence Of Ancient Lake On Mars

Layered rocks on the floor of McLaughlin Crater on Mars show sedimentary rocks that contain spectroscopic evidence for minerals formed through interaction with water. Photo: Reuters/NASA  

Mars Scientists Find ‘Strongest Evidence Yet’ That Planet May Have Supported Life -- National Post

Scientists believe they may have found the ‘strongest evidence yet’ that Mars may have supported life, but it’s unlikely in the form most people would recognize.

New research published today in the journal Nature Geoscience suggests a team of scientists could have discovered the ingredients of life in a huge crater up to 5km below the planet’s surface.

The McLaughlin crater, which was made by a meteorite which smashed into Mars, is described as an area of interest for the team, led by London’s Natural History Museum and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Read more ....

More News On The Possibility That There Was Once Water On Mars  

Scientists find evidence of ancient lake on Mars -- Sydney Morning Herald
NASA Probe Finds Evidence Of Groundwater-Fed Lake In Martian Crater -- Red Orbit
Martian minerals 'strongest evidence yet' of life on the red planet - and it could still be there -- Daily Mail
Martian crater may once have held lake -- TG Daily
Massive ancient lake on Mars is indicator of underground waterworks -- Wired

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A 'Flower' On The Surface Of Mars?

Does this image taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager show a "Martian flower?" (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds ‘Flower’ On Surface Of Mars -- The Slide 

NASA has released a series of new photos taken by its Curiosity rover that appear to show a “flower” on the surface of Mars.’s photo blog reports that the photos were taken as part of an effort to capture 360-degree images during Curiosity’s trek through Mars’ Yellowknife Bay.

New Jersey-based journalist and photographer Ken Kramer has assembled the Curiosity photographs, adding color to give a realistic view of what the rover is seeing on the planet’s surface.

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My Comment: I doubt that it is a 'flower' .... but it is an interesting geological anomaly.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nasa Releases 360 Degree View Of Mars

Nasa Releases 360 Degree Image Of Mars -- The Telegraph

After months of image collection, Nasa publishes two new images from the surface of Mars.

Described by Nasa as the 'Greeley Panorama' from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the first image documents the fifth Martian Winter of the mission.

The full-circle scene combines 817 images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on Opportunity.

Nasa scientists say the image shows the terrain that surrounded the rover while it was stationary for four months of work during its most recent Martian winter.

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My Comment: A truly impressive view of the martian landscape.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting Ready For A Manned Mars Mission

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project will test inflatable decelerators and advanced parachutes in a series of rocket sled, wind tunnel, and rocket-powered flight tests to slow spacecraft prior to landing. This technology will allow NASA to increase landed payload masses, improve landing accuracy and increase the altitude of safe landing-sites. (NASA)

Rocket Sled Tests Are Technology Pathway to Safely Land Humans, Habitats and Cargo on Mars -- Mars Daily

Traveling 300 million miles through deep space to reach the planet Mars is difficult; successfully landing there is even harder. The process of entering the Red Planet's atmosphere and slowing down to land has been described as "six minutes of terror."

During the first four minutes of entry, friction with the atmosphere slows a spacecraft considerably. But at the end of this phase, the vehicle is still traveling at over 1,000 mph with only 100 seconds left before landing. Things need to happen in a hurry. A parachute opens to slow the spacecraft down to "only" 200 mph, but now there are only seconds left and the spacecraft is approximately 300 feet from the ground. From there, the spacecraft may use rockets to provide a gentle landing on the surface, airbags to cushion the impact of a free fall or a combination of rockets and tethers to lower a rover to the surface.

Read more ....

My Comment: We are still a long way from flying to Mars, but it is interesting to see how we are preparing for that eventual mission.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Awesome Mars Picture

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity catches its own late-afternoon shadow in this dramatically lit view eastward across Endeavour Crater on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Mars Rover Snaps Intriguing Crater Pic -- BBC

PASADENA, Calif., May 23 (UPI) -- NASA's Mars rover Opportunity has used a low sun angle in the Martian evening to help capture a memorable image of a large crater, the space agency says.

Mars Exploration Rover used its panoramic camera between about 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. local Mars time to record images taken through several different filters, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a release Tuesday.

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My Comment: Awesome pic .... and I am surprised on how much sunlight is present. Makes you wish you were there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life On Mars?

Viking 2 Lander image (dated Nov. 2, 1976) showing the rocks of Utopia Planitia in the background. NASA

Mars Viking Robots 'Found Life' -- Discovery News

Mathematical analysis adds to growing body of work questioning the negative results of a life-detection experiment 36 years ago.

* New results question the finding that the Mars Viking experiments did not find life.
* The analysis was based on studying the mathematically complexity of the experiment results.
* The idea is that living systems are more complicated than purely physical ones, a concept that can be represented mathematically.

New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.

Read more ....

My Comment: One more reason on why we she go back.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dust Devils Caught On Camera On The Martian Surface

Pluming hell: The towering dust devil snakes across the Martian surface

Let's Twist Again: Martian Dust Devil 2,600-Feet Tall caught On Camera -- Daily Mail

* Picture was taken from over 160 miles up by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
A towering dust devil reaching half a mile in height has been pictured swirling across the surface of Mars by Nasa.

The Agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the image with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on February 16 this year as it passed over the Amazonis Planitia region of the planet.

Despite the atmosphere on Mars being desperately thin – one per cent of Earth’s pressure – the planet's winds are strong enough to produce dramatic events and in the area observed, paths of many previous whirlwinds, or dust devils, are visible as streaks on the dusty surface.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Was Mars Stripped Of Its Protective Magnetic Field By A Huge Asteroid Impact

The Hellas basin on Mars was created by an asteroid impact so violent it left a crater as deep as Mount Everest is high - and deposited a layer of debris more than a mile thick around the crater

Was Mars Stripped Of Its Protective Magnetic Field By A Huge Asteroid Impact That Left THIS Crater As Deep As Mount Everest? -- Daily Mail

Four billion years ago, Mars had a magnetic field, just like Earth's - but something turned it off, leaving a barren planet totally exposed to the Sun's deadly radiation.

Now scientists have come up with a likely culprit - a huge asteroid impact which left a crater as deep as Mount Everest is high.

That impact, and four other 1500-mile-wide asteroids, had a catastrophic effect on hot rocks in and under Mars's surface - 'knocking out' the planet's magnetic field forever.

Read more

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NASA Mars Funding Slashed

Photo: Nasa chief Charles Bolden admitted that tough choices had to be made.

Nasa Budget Slashes Mars Funding -- BBC

President Barack Obama's 2013 budget request for Nasa would slash spending on Mars exploration and shift funds to human spaceflight and space technology.

As reported by BBC News last week, this means the US will pull the plug on its joint missions to Mars with Europe.

If approved by Congress, the budget request would reduce funds available for planetary science by about 21%.

But spending on human exploration and space technology would rise by 6% and 22% respectively.

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My Comment: Nasa still has a budget?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Construction of NASA's Next Mars Rover

This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface. ChemCam fires laser pulses at a target and views the resulting spark with a telescope and spectrometers to identify chemical elements. The laser is actually in an invisible infrared wavelength, but is shown here as visible red light for purposes of illustration. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Inside Look: The Construction of NASA's Next Mars Rover -- FOX News

In May 2011, reporter Mike Wall visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., as scientists and engineers were wrapping up work on Curiosity, NASA's next Mars rover. This is his account.

It could be a scene from a James Bond film — a glimpse into the archvillain's lair.

Anonymous white-clad workers, their faces obscured by surgical masks, cross a cavernous, high-ceilinged room. They pause to adjust or inspect large pieces of mysterious equipment, some of which is spangled with bright gold foil. It's obvious that they're building something complicated and important.

Read more ....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mars Rover Nears End Of Road

An artist's impression of one of the two Mars rovers, which have been studying geological samples on the planet. Reuters

Eight Years And 34 Million Miles On, Mars Rover Nears End Of Road -- The Independent

It travelled at an average speed of 60cm an hour and it has arrived a year late. But the Mars rover Opportunity is finally approaching its destination, the rim of the vast Endeavour crater.

Nasa hailed the six-wheel Opportunity's approach to the 22.5km-wide crater last night as a "tremendous scientific success".

The ageing robotic field geologist has logged more than 32km since it was first parachuted on to the planet's surface in 2003, along with its twin rover Spirit, for a planned three-month mission after their 34 million-mile journey from Earth. Spirit emitted its last signal a year ago after becoming trapped in sand. Opportunity crawled out from a crater in 2008 and headed south to the Endeavour, a two-year journey in theory, which has taken longer because Opportunity had to drive backwards to prevent its front wheel from wearing out.

Read more ....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Water On Mars?

Dark Streaks On Mars Could Be Water -- The Telegraph

Dark finger-like channels stretching across the surface of Mars could be streams of salty water running down the sides of craters, scientists have claimed.

The clusters of trails, which fade during winter and reappear in warmer months, could prove to be the first solid evidence of liquid water currently existing on the red planet.

Scientists are convinced water probably flowed across the surface of the planet at some distant point in history, but have only been able to detect samples of frozen water near the surface.

Read more ....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

NASA's Mars Rover Spirit To Be Shut Down

NASA's Mars rover Spirit, shown in an artist's rendering, was expected to serve a three-month mission, but it provided scientists with a trove of information over more than six years of operation. (Reuters)

NASA Rover Spirit 'Revolutionized' How We See Mars -- L.A. Times

As the Martian rover falls silent for good, JPL scientists mourn Spirit's loss and celebrate its remarkable achievements that continued for years beyond its expected lifetime.

It was supposed to roam the surface of Mars for only three months and cover a distance of just a few hundred yards. Instead, NASA's Spirit rover traveled nearly five miles over five years, finding geological evidence that the Red Planet had once been warm and wet enough to have harbored life. Even after it got hopelessly stuck in the powdery soil of Gusev crater, the rover continued to make discoveries and beamed them to scientists millions of miles away.

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My Comment: Five years of discovery and excitement .... kudos to the engineers and scientists who made this possible.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Looking At Mars Impact Craters

This elongated depression is about 78 km in length, opens from just under 10 km wide at one end to 25 km wide at the other, and reaches a depth of 2 km. It is located at about 21°S / 55°E, and was probably caused by the impact of a train of projectiles. The data were acquired during orbit 8433 on 4 August 2010 using the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express. (Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum))

The Scars Of Impacts On Mars -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011) — ESA's Mars Express has returned new images of an elongated impact crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars. Located just south of the Huygens basin, it could have been carved out by a train of projectiles striking the planet at a shallow angle.

The large Huygens basin (not visible in the main image but seen in the wider contextual image) is about 450 km in diameter and lies in the heavily cratered southern highlands. In this area there are many impact scars but none perhaps are more intriguing than the 'elongated craters'.

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My Comment: That is one hell of an impact.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Landscape Of Mars Is Actively Changing

Three images of the same location taken at different times show seasonal activity causing sand avalanches and ripple changes on a Martian dune. Every year, dune fields at high latitudes are covered by a seasonal polar cap of condensed carbon dioxide (dry ice). Sand sliding down the dune carves out new alcoves at the top and adds to the debris apron on the bottom. The top image was taken in the Martian summer when the dunes were free of seasonal dry ice. Spring found the region covered by a layer of seasonal ice (middle). Evaporation of this seasonal ice layer shows up as dark streaks of fine particles carried to the top of the ice layer by escaping gas. As the ice changes from solid to gas, gas flowing underneath destabilizes the sand and causes it to avalanche down the dune. The bottom image shows the resulting changes, revealed during the following summer after the ice was gone. New wind ripples can be seen on the debris apron. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took these images, each showing an area of 285 x 140 meters, centered at 84 degrees North latitude and 233.2 degrees East longitude. (Credit: NASA/JPL/The University of Arizona)

Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2011) — Sand dunes in a vast area of northern Mars long thought to be frozen in time are changing with both sudden and gradual motions, according to research using images from a NASA orbiter.

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My Comment: I guess Mars is more windy than what it is given credit for.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery

The disappearance of the ancient magnetic field may have triggered the loss of the Martian atmosphere, and NASA have just announced a mission to investigate. Credit: NASA

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery -- Cosmos/AFP

WASHINGTON: The U.S. space agency NASA announced it has given the green light to a mission to Mars aimed at investigating the mystery of how the ‘red planet’ lost its atmosphere.

NASA gave the approval for "the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission," the agency said in a statement, noting that the project may also show Mars' history of supporting life.

Read more ....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stuck Mars Rover Gets New Mission

Spirit's right-front wheel, visible in this October 2009 image, has not worked since 2006. It is the least-stuck of the rover's six wheels at the current location, called "Troy." NASA/JPL-Caltech

From Discovery News:

NASA's Mars rover Spirit, trapped in sand, has a new mission in store if and when it wakes from hibernation.

No one would begrudge NASA's Mars rover Spirit -- six years into a mission pegged for 90 days, stuck in sand and lacking power to phone home -- retirement.

Instead, in the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, scientists are preparing a new round of studies uniquely suited for a stuck Mars lander.

Read more ....