Mars

  • 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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  • Picking on Mars
    An ancient dry lakebed called Gusev Crater is a landing target for the Mars Exploration Rover early next year. The long arduous process of finalizing what are called paleolake sites is described, and the trip is surprising--from Paris to Mountain View, California.
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  • Marshalling Martian Water Tables
    Using orbital spectral data, Los Alamos scientists are able to view the apparent water content of martian soil. Their findings suggest that in some regions of the Red Planet, a pound of soil could release a half-pound of water if the ice-rich dust and rocks
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  • Brain Transplant for FUSE
    The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer , or FUSE, mission has recovered its pointing ability, thanks to dramatic efforts at software recovery. One of FUSE's most unexpected findings so far has been that early Mars likely had more water than Earth.
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  • Mars: Winds of Change
    The successful launches of the two new Mars missions--Spirit and Opportunity--will help to answer questions about the fate of water on the red planet. The debates go back to the first views from the 1976 Viking landers: if water shaped the Earth, wind may have
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  • The World Goes to Mars
    The quartet of science missions headed to the Red Planet is now complete, with the successful Monday launch of the last Mars Exploration Rover, called Opportunity. Not since 1976, have multiple landers explored Mars simultaneously.
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