NASA has spent years observing and exploring Mars, but the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took a picture of a ridged portion of the Martian surface last month that is "puzzling" to researchers.
Boffins pour, er, cold liquid on theories of melting waterThe mountains and ridges on Mars – which some believe are carved from melting ice – can also be formed by landslides, according to a paper published in Nature Communications on Thursday.Scientists, led by the eggheads at University College London in England, have effectively cast doubt over previous studies that support the idea that melting ice may be sculpting the Red Planet.The long winding slopes down its peaks show that material has shifted over time.Similar patterns have been observed on Earth, caused by our world's melting glaciers, leading some academics to believe that there may be ice lurking close to the Martian surface, which melts and flows downhill, leaving channels in its wake.This latest study reveals that belief may not be the case.
Without fanfare, an Indian spacecraft just completed its fifth year in orbit around Mars last week.As the spacecraft nears the end of its design lifetime, this is a moment that seems worth a little more recognition.When it launched the Mars Orbiter Mission in November, 2013, India had never attempted an interplanetary flight before.India made it on the country's first try, with a budget significantly less than $100 million.The spacecraft remains in good working order, with fuel for at least another year of operations.Before the Mars Orbiter Mission reached Mars, only the United States, Soviet Union, and European Space Agency had successfully sent robotic missions to Mars.
Using its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the spacecraft photographed the new feature on 17 April 2019 from an altitude of 255 kilometres (158 miles), according to a HiRise press release.The crater is located in the Valles Marineris region near the equator, and it formed at some point between September 2016 and February 2019.We can’t yet monitor the entire Martian surface at shorter intervals, hence the uncertainty as to when it formed.The HiRise release described the new photo as a “work of art,” saying “the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust” is what makes this particular crater stand out.The bluish areas in the false-colour image above show areas in which the red surface material was most disrupted by the impact.HiRISE team member and University of Arizona staff scientist Veronica Bray told Space.com that the crater is about 15 to 16 metres (49 to 53 feet) wide.
In 2018, scientists made the incredible discovery that they had found a "stable body of liquid water" on Mars.A new study takes that one step further and suggests that the water thought to be responsible for dark streaks on the Red Planet may be coming from well below the surface.The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, suggests that the recurring slope lineae (RSL) may have a "deep underground origin" and not flows of water either on or just underneath the surface, as previously thought."We suggest that this may not be true," the study's co-author, Essam Heggy, said in a statement."We propose an alternative hypothesis that they originate from a deep pressurized groundwater source which comes to the surface moving upward along ground cracks."LIFE-BOOSTING SIGN CONFIRMED ON MARS
Halloween has come and gone, but there’s no shortage of scary things—in space!The universe is enormous beyond comprehension, and airless and dark to boot.We’re going to look at its brighter side this week, starting with some scattered Martian craters and a strange mound of sediment located near the largest canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris.Next we’ll say hello to an anticyclone on Jupiter that the Juno spacecraft captured on its 15th pass around the planet.Then it’s fright night over at the Ghost Nebula.This behemoth of glowing gas and stars is minding its own business in space, but unfortunately a star six light years away is killing it with radiation.
The books were popular with readers, but Morgan has received a steady stream of emails urging him to write more science fiction in the vein of his 2002 debut Altered Carbon.“I’m coming back to science fiction, and what I really wanted to do was have some fun with it,” Morgan says in Episode 332 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.“And go back to that noir vibe, and really pick up on the pulse that the Kovacs books had.”Thin Air is set on a futuristic Mars colony in the Valles Marineris.An ambitious terraforming effort has stalled, a victim of corporate greed, and now the Martian settlers huddle beneath a thin screen called the Lamina, which helps keep in the breathable air.It’s a grim vision, but one that Morgan finds far more plausible than the cheerful visions of plucky Mars colonists common in sci-fi.
A location on Mars associated with the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie, "The Martian" This area is in the Acidalia Planitia region and in the novel and the movie, it is the landing site of a crewed mission named Ares 3.REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ.For six years now, since its landing on August 5, 2012, the Mars Curiosity rover has been exploring one area of our next-planet neighbor.Curiosity has spent all of its time in the Gale Crater, where it's traveled just over 12 miles, yet the rover has captured plenty of stunning images.NASA has also collected photos of the Martian surface using spacecraft and other rovers like Opportunity, which is more than 15 years old.At times, photos of the surface of Mars depict the prototypical idea of the red planet: rocky, dry, dusty, and not unlike a desert you might see on Earth.Here are some of the images that show how stunning the surface of Mars really is, though there's still far more to be discovered, of course.
As most of us did last minute Christmas shopping, ate turkey, and reminded ourselves of why discussing politics with dad is a bad idea, Chan was romping, carefree, over Mars’ ruddy surface in a rover-style space buggy.Not a bad time to get away from Earth, as it so happens!If you feel like you saw something about a solo Mars explorer on TV at some point in the past, you’re almost certainly remembering Matt Damon’s character from The Martian.The results are something that, until Elon Musk and others finally get their act together, lets users explore the sights of Mars — from the enormous Victoria Crater to Candor Chasma, one of the largest canyons in the planet’s Valles Marineris canyon system.Less game, more data visualizationUltimately, Red Rover isn’t really a game.
Powerful landslides may rumble down Martian slopes at up to 450 mph (725 km/h), sped along by slippery ice, a new study suggests.Researchers Fabio Vittorio De Blasio and Giovanni Battista Crosta, both of the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, modeled the dynamics of landslides on Mars, especially those inside Valles Marineris, the gigantic canyon system near the Red Planet's equator.The duo found that ice — at the landslides' bases and/or spread widely throughout the Martian soil — is likely a key player in these dramatic flows of Red Planet rock and dirt."Only if the presence of ice is included in the calculations do results reproduce reasonably well both the vertical collapse of landslide material in the scarp area, and the extreme thinning and runout in the distal area, which are evident characteristics of large landslides in Valles Marineris," they wrote in the new study, which was published this month in The European Physical Journal Plus.This conclusion fits with other available evidence, the researchers added.For example, Valles Marineris landslides look a lot like landslides here on Earth that fall onto glaciers, they wrote.
Work is underway to investigate how hitchhiking microorganisms on spacecraft might survive, grow and possibly adapt to the harsh environmental conditions on that distant world.At the Space Life Sciences Lab, Schuerger's Mars chamber can simulate five different aspects of the Red Planet's surface environment: high-intensity ultraviolet radiation; gases within the Martian atmosphere; cold temperatures; low pressure; and levels of dust in the sky, from super-clear to dust-storm level.Microscopes, dessicators and incubators dot the room, along with vials of various chemical concoctions."I'm very passionate about this work, going after challenges and mysteries and finding answers," Harrison told Space.com.I want to be the one walking around, taking samples, and look into some of those harder-to-find niches on Mars … boots-on-the-ground type of work," she said.[How Living on Mars Could Challenge Colonists (Infographic)]
When it comes to cool names for places, we have to give props to "Noctis Labyrinthus," a region of Mars at the western end of a massive valley called Valles Marineris.The name translates to "labyrinth of the night," and the area got its moniker thanks to its exotic maze-like formations.A new NASA image gives a close-up view of a wild-looking mesa found there.NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped the shot of the mesa, which is about a quarter of a mile (0.4 kilometers) across."Heavily eroded, with clusters of boulders and sand dunes on its surface, this layered mesa is probably comprised of sedimentary deposits that are being exhumed as it erodes," NASA says.NASA released the image on Wednesday.
The surface of Mars is an intricate and varied landscape, telling the tale of billions of years of changing geological activity from impact craters caused by asteroids to mountains formed by volcanoes.Now, the European Space Agency (Esa) has released a series of pictures revealing its latest fascinating geological feature – a giant channel created by ancient mega-floods more than 3 billion years ago.The Kasei Valles channel system spans around 1,864 miles (3,000 km) from its source stretching north of the Valles Marineris canyon system, to a sink in the vast plains of Chryse Planitia.“A combination of volcanism, tectonics, collapse and subsidence in the Tharsis region led to several massive groundwater releases from Echus Chasma,” Esa said, “which then flooded the Kasei Valles region between 3.6 and 3.4 billion years ago”.Regions of the Kasei Valles have already been imaged by the Mars Express orbiter during its 14 years at the Red Planet.The latest image, taken on May 25, 2016, captures a portion of the valley in a place never spotted before - right at its mouth.
To celebrate American Archive Month in October, NASA s Chandra X-ray Observatory has released a collection of images, including this shot of a cluster of stars 20,000 light years from Earth.The blue and green shows cosmic haze where clouds form; x-rays are shown in purple.2 / 30 These bright emission nebulas, located in Cassiopeia, are named Heart and Soul.David Lindemann 3 / 30 This young star is breaking out.This image of Mars has been altered to show what we would see with ultraviolet vision: the Valles Marineris appears as a blue cut across the middle, and an ozone build-up at the south pole shows as magenta.However, this multi-colored haze actually marks the site of two colliding galaxy clusters, forming a single object known as MACS J0416.1-2403.7 / 30 In this image from ESO s Very Large Telescope VLT , light from blazing blue stars energizes the gas left over from the stars recent formation.