Solar System

  • Planetary Uncertainty Principle
    After the Terraforming Debate ended, some of the panel members continued to discuss the implications of humans living on Mars.
    more...
  • The Martian Future
    Scientists and Science Fiction writers answer more audience questions, such as whether we should leave Mars as it is, rather than turning it into another Earth.
    more...
  • Naming Mars: You’re in Charge
    When the current rover missions first began, mission planners started with naming surface features broadly as 'this crater' or 'that hill'. The unofficial rules have now been refined to reflect famous or interesting people, places, ships --and a few names borrowed from Mars-Earth analogs.
    more...
  • Living on Mars
    At the 2004 Astrobiology Science Conference, scientists and science fiction writers faced off in front of a packed house to debate the promise and pitfalls of terraforming Mars. In this segment, the panel answers audience questions.
    more...
  • The United Nations of Mars
    Kim Stanley Robinson wishes Mars (and Earth) would abide by the Antarctica Treaty.
    more...
  • Walking Naked on the Red Planet
    Greg Bear ponders the evolution of humans into Martians.
    more...
  • Finding Our Marbles
    The strange iron-rich blueberries found on Mars have an intriguing Earth analog, according to University of Utah scientists. In telling legends, the Hopi Indians called this kind of spherical sandstone, 'moqui', or spirits of their ancestors.
    more...
  • Rockhard Stardust
    Scientists thought most comets were "fluffy" snowballs -- piles of icy rubble that were loosely bound together. But Wild-2 has a solid, cohesive surface carved into lofty pinnacles, deep canyons and broad mesas.
    more...
  • Should We Terraform?
    At the Astrobiology Science Conference on March 30, scientists and science fiction writers faced off in front of a packed audience to debate the promise and pitfalls of terraforming Mars. In part 3 of this 7-part series, David Grinspoon says we have an ethical imperative
    more...
  • Spirit finds its Pot of Gold
    After a two-month drive, the Spirit rover finally got to the Columbia Hills, where mission scientists have found signs of the iron-rich blueberries that first hinted at the planet's water-history.
    more...
  • Looking for Martian Life
    John Rummel predicts that in our search for life on Mars, we probably won't find cows.
    more...
  • Giving Mars Back its Heartbeat
    Christopher McKay advocates making Mars habitable for Martians.
    more...
  • Defrosting Mars
    Mars has an average global temperature of about minus sixty degrees Celsius (or minus 166 F). Watching seasonal changes on the red planet has been fascinating from the vantage point of a unique constellation of orbiting satellites. How will Mars change as its
    more...
  • Buzzing the Dark Moon
    A close approach to Saturn's dark moon, Phoebe, will give planetary scientists a front-row seat to discover if the moon was captured or formed as part of a grander accretion like the rings and other thirty moons.
    more...
  • Martian Bubbles as Time Capsules?
    Using a laser as a non-destructive way to probe martian meteorites may hold promise to uncover the important water history of the red planet. Scientists look to a new national facility to quantify what fluids have been trapped inside meteorites.
    more...