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Bad Moon Rising
Topic: Mars
03/06/04
The Opportunity rover captured an image of a solar eclipse from the surface of Mars. While not a rare event on the red planet, capturing the image of one of Mars' two moons as thet pass in front of the Sun can tell atmospheric scientists much about what lies between the rover and the upper air layer.

Evidence of Water Found on Mars
Topic: Mars
03/03/04
Opportunity has found definitive evidence that liquid water was once present in Meridiani Planum - enough water to provide a habitat suitable for life as we know it. The evidence comes from a detailed study of El Capitan, a narrow section of the rock outcrop that is exposed in the crater where the rover landed.

Brewing Sulfur with Martian Water
Topic: Mars
03/03/04
If the very high sulfur content found at the Opportunity landing site points to its aqueous history, then what speculative biology could take advantage of brewing sulfur with water. According to one Mars' veteran, there are fascinating extreme microbes that can make good use of these chemical combinations.

Divining Water: The Plot Thickens?
Topic: Mars
03/01/04
One of the fascinating mysteries unraveling on Mars is the origin of the tiny spherules which dot the crater floor at Opportunity's Meridiani Planum. If these tiny balls turn out to show significant layering, a theory of their watery past would likely rise in prominence.

Into the Briny Deep - Perhaps
Topic: Mars
02/22/04
Spirit has discovered irregular patterns in a small patch of fine-grained soil at Gusev Crater. One possible explanation is that there is liquid brine -salty water - below the surface. Scientists plan to use one of the rover's wheels to dig a trench, so they can find out what's going on there.

Born Bone Dry
Topic: Mars
02/16/04
Mars has polar ice caps, and pockets of liquid water are suspected to exist beneath the martian surface. Yet compared to Earth, Mars is a very dry place. Why is Mars so arid? The answer may lie in the random nature of planetary birth.

Flying Above Mount Olympus
Topic: Mars
02/15/04
The European Mars Express orbiter captured the highest resolution images yet of the largest volcano in our solar system, named Olympus Mons. In addition to the need for water in any biological scenarios, geothermal heat may also have had a role in the planet's past.

Evocative Debris, Orbital Opportunity
Topic: Mars
02/11/04
Finding the space hardware left over from various stages of a successful descent on Mars has given scientists and engineers some remarkably evocative views from orbit. Opportunity landed in a small crater, in a fortunate turn of events compared to a golfing hole-in-one.

Opportunity Finds 'Blueberry Muffins' on Mars
Topic: Mars
02/10/04
Small spheres of rock are embedded within the layered bedrock outcrop that Opportunity has begun to explore. Scientists said the rock looked a bit like a blueberry muffin.

Touch and Go Days
Topic: Mars
02/07/04
Acting as a surface surveyor, the twin geology labs have their days that are called 'touch and go'. These traverses typically mean that the rover picks a target, then studies its thermal, chemical and microscopic profile. As both rovers gear up for travel, the Spirit rover drilled into its first rock.
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