Mars

  • Finding Martian Fossils
    Mars was cold - very cold, says Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center. But that doesn't mean it was incapable of supporting life. McKay has extensively studied life in some of the harshest environments in the world: the Antarctic dry
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  • Chomping on Nano-Nuggets
    Eight years ago, nanometer-sized features resembling bacteria were discovered in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. Although some scientists think nanometer-sized life can't exist, others contend that nanobacteria are the new frontier in life science.
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  • Life Could Cope on Cold Mars
    Early Mars was cold - very cold, says Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center. But that doesn't mean it was incapable of supporting life. McKay has extensively studied life in some of the harshest environments in the world: the Antarctic
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  • Enigmatic Martian Gullies
    One of the intriguing surface features on Mars is the carved drainage ditches or gullies. These regions show some of the best evidence of a fluid past on an otherwise dry and cold planet. Finding gullies is still a relatively difficult task, given that a
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  • Surveying the Scene – Martian Style
    After the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, land in January 2004, they'll take their first look around, literally, with their Pancam imaging system, a pair of cameras capable of panning 360-degrees around the rover's mast. Pancam will make the sharpest pictures yet of Mars'
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  • Mars: Appointed Rounds
    At the midway point in the journey of two martian rovers, their final landing sites will be nailed down officially. After that October decision, the unique aspects of weather on Mars will present their own version of wind, cold and long nights.
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  • Dialing Up Mars
    For those interested in understanding the red planet, a scientific stowaway aboard the two NASA Mars' probes promises to offer a unique view. A Cornell collaboration with Bill Nye, 'the Science Guy', and schoolchildren has launched the first interplanetary sundial.
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  • When Hubble Saw Mars
    If your views of Mars were somehow obscured by clouds or city lights, what the Hubble Space Telescope saw on the martian opposition provides a map and guide for conducting a grand tour of the red planet.
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  • Mars Close Approach
    Never previously in modern human history has Mars been as bright or as close to Earth as tonight. Look for it in the night sky, as it will be easily recognized by its red tinge. As with all planets, its light will also stand
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  • Martian Point ‘N Shoot
    In a few days, Mars will be at closest approach to Earth in the last 60 millenia. While many terrestrial telescopes will be looking skyward, the public is also being asked to submit image targets for pointing an orbiting camera on Mars.
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  • Mars, Oceans Away
    The search for ancient large bodies of water on Mars, like oceans or seas, would be indicated by the presence of carbonates or limestone deposits. After a decade-long search, scientists employing the Mars Global Surveyor have concluded an ancient martian ocean is unlikely.
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  • Mars Up Close
    The Mars Exploration Rovers provide geologists with their first chance to do field work on Mars, so the rovers took along the space version of a common geologist's tool, the pocket magnifying glass or hand lens.
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  • Mars Rover Checkup
    Having already journeyed between fifty and hundred million miles from Earth, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers received their first major instrument checkout. A rock analyzer, or Mössbauer spectrometer, on one spacecraft, called Spirit, returned test data that did not fit the pattern expected from normal
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  • Martian Hot Spots
    One of the most intriguing questions for scientists who study Mars is where is the best place to search for evidence of hospitable conditions. NASA's Mars missions have adopted the credo to 'follow the water'.
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  • Phoenix to Mars
    To explore the north polar fields on Mars, a new mission called Phoenix will trek to the Red Planet in May 2008. The north is considered rich in prospecting sites for water-ice and compatible conditions for microbes.
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