Mars

  • High Voltage Mars
    Meteorites and comets should have delivered vast amounts of organic chemicals to Mars, yet the Viking mission found no organics in the red soil. A new hypothesis by Sushil Atreya suggests how dust storms may zap away any chances for life on the martian
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  • Opportunity’s Big Smoking Hole
    As the Opportunity rover has surveyed the heat shield debris from its own landing a year ago, the six-wheeled laboratory has found a new target: the deepest drilling field yet. Opportunity took a stunning image of the big smoking hole it left in the Meridiani
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  • Melting Mars
    Injecting synthetic "super" greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the planet's temperature enough to melt its polar ice caps and create conditions suitable for sustaining biological life.
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  • Martian Dust Bowl
    After a year on Mars, the rovers have been covered with dust. Scientists believe one cannot understand today's changes on Mars-its weather, temperature or water-without also accounting for dust. But the engineers trying to extend the lifetime of the rovers' solar power are as concerned
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  • A Marvelous Sense of Theater
    In this multipart series on the twin Viking landers that pioneered surface imagery and exploration on Mars, the events leading to the first and tense rocket-powered landing of Viking I are described.
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  • A Glow in the Martian Night
    Like Earth and Venus, the night side of Mars emits a subtle glow. In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Principal Investigator for the Mars Express SPICAM instrument, explains what lights up the martian evening sky, and why our understanding of that process
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  • Clockwork Orange Planet
    As the MER rovers blow out the candle on their one-year anniversary, they continue to make new discoveries on the Red Planet. How long they'll keep running is an open question, but NASA has several programs in the works for an encore.
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  • Martian Rock Not from Mars
    Over twenty meteorites from Mars have been discovered in Antarctica, so why shouldn't it be possible to find other chunks of our solar system sitting somewhere on Mars too? But the martian surprise of finding an off-world sample while driving has scientists inching towards a
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  • It Came Out of the Sky
    In this excerpt from the new Forward to the paperback edition of "Lonely Planets", planetary scientist David Grinspoon discusses the exciting discoveries unveiled by the twin rovers on Mars.
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  • Sifting Good Martian Trash
    There are few sites as startling as a view of space debris on another world. As Opportunity closes in on its first year anniversary on Mars, the flat Meridiani plains contrast with a scorched heat shield and what may prove to be a non-martian meteorite.
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  • Opportunity Knocks
    Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number one in this countdown was the Opportunity rover exploring Mars.
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  • Spirit on the Lake
    Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number four in this countdown was the Spirit mission to Mars.
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  • Mysterious Martian Methane
    Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number seven in this countdown was the startling detection of methane on Mars. Since methane concentrations would fall dramatically after only 300 years,
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  • Mars Remote
    Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number eight in this countdown was the Mars Express mission, the most complete study of martian topography and water from below the surface
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  • Modern Martian Marvels: Volcanoes?
    The European Mars Express orbiter continues to take overhead and perspective shots of landmarks on the red planet. The remarkable clarity at first glance appears to be a simulation. Scientists have pursued their mapping tour around Olympus Mons, the solar system's largest volcano, as one
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