Curious Mars

Recently in the Mars Category


The climate of early Mars has been hotly debated for decades. Although most investigators believe that the geology indicates the presence of surface water, disagreement has persisted regarding how warm and wet the surface must have been and how long such conditions may have existed.

NASA scientists have found a wide diversity of minerals in the initial samples of rocks collected by the Curiosity rover in the lowermost layers of Mount Sharp on Mars, suggesting that conditions changed in the water environments on the planet over time.

Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica -- called "halos"-- has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed.

We present improved Mars Odyssey Neutron Spectrometer (MONS) maps of near-surface Water-Equivalent Hydrogen (WEH) on Mars.

Brown University researchers have published the most detailed geological history to date for a region of Mars known as Northeast Syrtis Major, a spot high on NASA's list of potential landing sites for its next Mars rover to be launched in 2020.

We consider a dynamical shake-up model to explain the low mass of Mars and the lack of planets in the asteroid belt. In our scenario, a secular resonance with Jupiter sweeps through the inner solar system as the solar nebula depletes, pitting resonant excitation against collisional damping in the Sun's protoplanetary disk.

Understanding the limits on what microbial life can endure is important for preventing contamination of the Red Planet with terrestrial microbes when our human and robotic explorers arrive.

New NASA research reveals that the giant Martian volcano Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity.

Mars was characterized by cataclysmic groundwater-sourced surface flooding that formed large outflow channels and that may have altered the climate for extensive periods during the Hesperian era. In particular, it has been speculated that such events could have induced significant rainfall and caused the formation of late-stage valley networks.

The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox. There's plenty of geographical evidence that rivers periodically flowed across the planet's surface.